303 - Fortified Enclaves The New Urban Segregation Teresa P...

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Fortified Enclaves: The New Urban Segregation Teresa P. R. Caldeira n the last few decades, the proliferation of fortified enclaves has created a new 1 model of spatial segregation and transformed the quality of public life in many cities around the world. Fortified enclaves are privatized, enclosed, and monitored spaces for residence, consumption, leisure, and work. The fear of violence is one of their main justifications. They appeal to those who are abandoning the traditional public sphere of the streets to the poor, the “marginal,” and the home- less. In cities fragmented by fortified enclaves, it is difficult to maintain the principles of openness and free circulation which have been among the most significant organizing values of modern cities. As a consequence, the character of public space and of citizens’ participation in public life changes. In order to sustain these arguments, this article analyzes the case of Siio Paulo, Brazil, and uses Los Angeles as a comparison. Siio Paulo is the largest metropoli- tan region (it has more than sixteen million inhabitants) of a society with one of the most inequitable distributions of wealth in the world.’ In Siio Paulo, social inequality is obvious. As a consequence, processes of spatial segregation are also This article is based on the analysis developed in my book City of Walls: Crime, Segregation, and Citizenship in Sir0 Paulo (Berkeley: University of California Press, forthcoming), copyright by the Regents of the University of California. I thank the University of California Press for the permission to use material from the book. 1. In Brazil in 1989, the proportion of income in the hands of the poorest 50 % of the population was only 10.4%. At the same time, the richest 1% had 17.3% of the income. Data is from the National Research by Domicile Sample (PNAD) undertaken by the Census Bureau. The distribution of wealth has become more inequitable since the early 1980s (Lopes 1993; Rocha 1991). Public Culture 1996, 8: 303-328 0 1996 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. 0899-236319610802-0006$01 .OO 303
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3 04 Public Culture particularly visible, expressed without disguise or subtlety. Sometimes, to look at an exaggerated form of a process is a way of throwing light onto some of its characteristics which might otherwise go unnoticed. It is like looking at a carica- ture. In fact, with its high walls and fences, armed guards, technologies of surveil- lance, and contrasts of ostentatious wealth and extreme poverty, contemporary Sio Paulo reveals with clarity a new pattern of segregation which is widespread in cities throughout the world, although generally in less severe and explicit forms. In what follows, I start by describing the changes in
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303 - Fortified Enclaves The New Urban Segregation Teresa P...

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