Chapter 15: Opening up of gated communities: a reality of a mirage?
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The credibility thesis portrays internal institutional functions and explains why informal institutions exist. This chapter extends the application of the thesis to explain why the Hong Kong Government's initiative to provide public facilities in private gated communities fails. While most of the housing developments are highly gated, the local government sets out conditions in some land leases to require the provision of public open spaces. Such conditions attempt to break the boundaries between private and public space. However, whether this goal is achieved or not remains unanswered. Twelve public open spaces in private semi-gated housing communities were investigated. Outsiders were found to be intentionally excluded from the public open spaces in private housing developments by design and management practices. Conflicts existed among different groups of stakeholders, rendering the institution non-credible. This chapter adds to our understanding of the failure of efforts to open up protected space.

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