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Do Gated Communities Threaten Society?

The neighborhood where Trayvon Martin died is the kind of place where people choose to live when they want to be safe – from crime, from outsiders, from economic uncertainty. Of course, it doesn’t always work that way.
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The shooting death of Trayvon Martin has caused an epidemic of soul-searching in the United States. In the weeks since George Zimmerman pulled the trigger in that Florida gated community, it feels as though the entire nation has been busy trying to explain to ourselves what happened and why. We want desperately to find some sort of lesson. Maybe we’re looking for redemption.

People who care about the way our cities and suburbs are built and organized have been no exception. In a post on Better! Cities and Towns, Robert Steuteville posited that “a poorly planned, exclusionary built environment” was a factor in Martin’s death.