From the monthly archives:

October 2010

The Growth of Gated Communities and Their Impact of Social Segregation

by admin on October 11, 2010

The Growth of Gated Communities and Their Impact of Social Segregation

By Natalie Aranda

Gated communities have always been with us. This dates back to the very earliest civilizations where the very wealthy have favored high walls and closed gates that have turned their communities into very private communities. In addition to providing increased security, the purposes of these communities were to foster segregation, and increase the sense of exclusion. Put bluntly, the rich desired to separate themselves from their less socially advanced neighbors.

In recent years there has been an increase in the construction of gated communities in the United States. At the same time, these communities are becoming less the exclusive haven of the very rich, and have become more and more the choice of the upper middle class and even middle class homeowner. The major reason cited for this increase is the desire for more personal safety. Fueled by a media that almost constantly bombards us with images of violence and crime, people have become more fearful. The idea of the walls and the controlled access gates promises an escape from this fear. Inside the walls, surrounded by neighbors who share their values, people feel safer. The are not as fearful to approach old age, or raise their children there.

Yet there are some who see the gated community as another divisive trend in American society. They think the major reason for the gated community is to isolate the residents from segments of society they consider inferior. One study often cited to support this idea showed that black Americans were the group least in favor of living inside a gated community. They gave as a primary reason the fact that they had been longed isolated from the mainstream and treated as social inferiors, and were not anxious now to engage in the same behavior.

The people who think the private communities divisive in nature also point to the fact that many of the newer communities are including more parks, recreational fields, shopping centers, and even schools within the walls and behind the gates. The residents are further isolating themselves from those they consider their inferiors, the critics claim.

From the very start of our country, Americans have differed in their residential choices. There are those who preferred the excitement and opportunity of the city, and there were those who preferred the open spaces and peace of the country. As in most other things there is a wide diversity in where and how we chose to live. Social segregation comes from attitudes in the hearts of men, and not from where they live. Anti-discrimination laws exist and these prevent the gated community from excluding any who can afford to live there, and have the desire to do so. There are many reasons why the security of the gated community is more wishful thinking than reality, but even so that remains the prime reason for choosing it as the place to make your home. There are always going to be people who feel superior to others, but you are just as likely to find them under a bridge or in a homeless shelter as in a gated community.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Natalie_Aranda

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Automatic Gates – A Convenient Solution to Improve Home Security

by admin on October 11, 2010

Automatic Gates – A Convenient Solution to Improve Home Security

By Kevin R Reilly

Thinking about buying Automatic Gates to improve your home security? Read on to find out some of the information you should know about.

Types of gates

Increasingly there is a demand for security as well as accessibility in domestic property and this can be provided by both wooden and metal gates, with a variety of installation methods and opening technologies.

When researching what type of gates you would like one of the first questions you need to answer is what materials do I want to use? The standard choice is between wood and metal.

Wooden gates can enhance both the exterior appearance of property and the privacy of a driveway, while well-designed metal gates offer a secure and long-lasting enhancement to security as well as appearance.

The next question is what would be the most convenient way for me to control the gates? There is a huge range of gate opening technology available, from keypad technology through to handheld devices.

What to look for

If you are interested in buying automatic / electric gates look for a company which manufactures and installs a wide range of gates both wooden and electrical. They should be capable of being automatically operated through hand-held transmitters, intercoms or even mobile phones. A good gate company should be happy to advise, design, install and maintain the specific gates you require.

As technologies have improved so has the ease with which you can remotely operate your gates. One of our clients asked for the ability to operate gates from Australia to permit access while she was out of the country, and this was arranged without a problem. She was able to use her phone to provide access there and then.

The availability of mobile technology today combines convenience with safety and a good company will constantly seek to update the options it offers to clients. Look for gate companies that can demonstrate their experience and can build a gate to your exact requirements.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kevin_R_Reilly

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Tips For Designing Durable Driveway Gates

by admin on October 11, 2010

Tips For Designing Durable Driveway Gates

By Andre Kibbe

When you think about it, driveway gates are very unnatural constructions. Swing gates, for instance, are heavy panels that have to extend several feet beyond their supporting hinges. They’re often mounted on less than level ground. They have to contend with ground that expands or contracts between seasonal climate changes. They may have to withstand heavy winds, and their fencing material needs to survive rain. Finally, they need to open and close reliably after the repeat stress of constant opening and closing.

If your fence is situated on a slope, forget about swing gating. You’ll definitely want to use a sliding gate that runs parallel to the fence. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to add a pedestrian gate next to it, but you also won’t have to deal the the eventual misalignment issues that result from repeated swinging on a slope. If your gate is exceptionally wide – greater than 14 feet – you may need to use reinforce your stone pillars with rebar-augmented concrete foundation poured between them to eliminate any eventual misalignment due to expanding and contracting ground conditions.

Post construction is critical, and should have a core of cement block regardless of the exterior. The post caps of natural stone are recommended, since they retain a natural look after weathering, unlike precast concrete, which tends to look deteriorated over time. For the same reasons, natural stone is also the preferred choice for the rest of the post. A cheaper alternative is stucco, which can be repainted over time to retain a fresh look. Cultured stone, which can be removed and replaced with another material if desired, is yet another alternative.

The size and weight of your gates need to be considered when choosing the material used for your latches and locks. Cast aluminum latches bend easily over repeated openings and closings, and will eventually warp to the extent that they won’t shut. This problem is compounded by wood gating, which warps and expands under extreme temperature changes and rain saturation. Metal gates made with wrought iron or hot-dipped galvanized still offer the best long term protection against inclement weather.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andre_Kibbe

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