Gated security communities generally come in three different types: lifestyle communities, elite communities, and security zone communities. All of these different types of gated security communities differ in their inhabitants, but they all serve the same basic service—to keep unwanted people out.

Lifestyle gated communities include retirement communities, leisure communities, and suburban “new towns.” They offer residents the chance to safely engage in a wide variety of activities close to their own homes, including golf, horseback riding, walking and many other leisure activities. They also offer an added sense of security to residents living within the gates of the community

Elite gated communities are primarily occupied by the rich and/or famous. These properties focus on exclusion and status. The gates at these types of homes or compounds represent a barrier of status to all who are outside and looking in. Security is another major concern due to the resident's status within the community. Like lifestyle communities, the developers of the elite communities build walls and gates as a marketing strategy.

The final type of gated community is the security zone community. Unlike the other two types of gated communities, security zone communities are gated by the residents themselves. They can sometimes represent somewhat of a “fortress” mentality. Many of these communities are located in inner city and lower income neighborhoods where the residents see crime increasing. The fear of crime and outsiders is the major reason that people band together to create a security zone community.

The residents of these gated communities usually pay dues for all of the services rendered, including guards. Many times, this security can become extremely expensive. If this figure is multiplied by many guards, more gates, services, canine patrols, cameras, and escorts, the cost is dramatically higher. Each homeowner is assessed a portion of this cost.


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