Gated communities are a new " hot button" in many North American cities. From Boston to Los Angeles and from Miami to Toronto citizens are taking sides in the debate over whether any neighborhood should be walled and gated, preventing intrusion or inspection by outsiders. This debate has intensified since the hard cover edition of this book was published in 1997. Since then the number of gated communities has risen dramatically. In fact, new homes in over 40 percent of planned developments are gated n the West, the South, and southeastern parts of the United States. Opposition to this phenomenon is growing too. In the small and relatively homogenous town of Worcester, Massachusetts, a band of college students from Brown University and the University of Chicago picketed the Wexford Village in November of 1998 waving placards that read " Gates Divide." These students are symbolic of a much larger wave of citizens asking questions about the need for and the social values of gates that divide one portion of a community from another.
"This book is the first major study of the development and social impact of this phenomenon that has major implications for urban design. It is... important reading for all involved with and concerned about cities." --Steven Tiesdell, University of Aberdeen, UK, Journal of Urban Design, 12/13/2000 "Well-grounded in the social science literature on community, FORTRESS AMERICA is a frightening book, a mustread for all those interested in our nation's cities, suburbs, neighborhoods, and communities. Blakely and Snyder take the reader on a well-crafted and lively tour of gated communities in the United States." -- Society "A thoughtful, low-key book that mirrors the quiet but important trend toward fenced neighborhoods...The authors have a clear and consistent viewpoint...and end with rational, realistic suggestions for building better communities without erecting fortresses... The book offers a calm and reasoned tone for a revolutionary tendency and deserves a wide audience." -- Publishers Weekly "Fortress America illustrates some powerful contemporary social impulses by collecting a wealth of evidence about gated communities and testimony from their residents." -- The New York Times Book Review "This is the first comprehensive survey of gated communities and their impacts, and immediately becomes the starting point for research on this important subject...This is a major contribution to the study of contemporary landscapes, communities, and settlement patterns, especially urban geography, urban sociology, and environmental psychology. Very highly recommended." -- Choice "[A] thorough, well-argued book... Its moral tone, sense of justice, and relative lack of political jargon allow it to be recommended for general readers." -- Library Journal "FORTRESS AMERICA has much to recommend it. It is the first book devoted entirely to the study of the gated community phenomenon, the social and political ramifications of which should not be taken lightly... Blakely and Snyder raise some fascinating questions that deserve attention." -- American Political Science Review "In short, this book is the first major study of the development and social impact of this phenomenon that has major implications for urban design. It is therefore important reading for all involved with and concerned about cities and urban design." --Steven Tiesdell, University of Aberdeen, UK, Journal of Urban Design, 9/1/2000 "required reading for the anti-gate set." --Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, 5/28/2002 "This is a well written book about a topic of growing importance in both the professional press and public debate." --Roderick J. Lawrence, Switzerland University of Geneva, Open House International, 6/1/2002 "This is a major contribution to the study of contemporary landscapes, communities, and settlement patterns, especially urban geography, urban sociology, and environmental psychology." --P.O. Muller, University of Miami, CHOICE, 6/1/2005