Hierarchical Production of Privacy: Gating in Compact Living in Hong Kong


Measured by both the physically fortified character and socio-legal systems of service delivery and governance, the number of neighborhoods in Hong Kong that falls into the category of gated community is huge. Gating here is widely employed in various types of housing estates, from luxury developments for the affluent, to aged tenement houses that usually house the less advantaged group, and even to public housing for the population segment who are at the very bottom of the social strata. In the densely populated Hong Kong, privacy is a rare urban resource, the competition for which thus leads to valorization of buffer between public and private lives in a hierarchical way. Gating, in its various forms and correspondingly varying magnificence to which one’s privacy is protected and separated from the public, then serves as the marker of social differences. This paper attempts to investigate the hierarchy in three tiers, with a focus on Tier Three, where vertical gating is invented as another dimension to mark social differences in the composite development model.

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Wang, J. and Lau, S. (2013) Hierarchical Production of Privacy: Gating in Compact Living in Hong Kong. Current Urban Studies, 1, 11-18. doi: 10.4236/cus.2013.12002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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