Gated communities key in creating sustainable living in Kenya

By Lydia Kanyoro

When you think of a gated community, what comes to mind is probably fully-fledged “cities”. Or, well-planned luxurious homes which incorporate strict safety and security measures, privacy and amenities surrounded by high perimeter walls. You may find it odd but what else lies beyond those gates? Is it bordered on investment or it is the right fit for you and your family?

Over the years, the demand for real estate in many developing countries such as Kenya has been increasing. However, sustaining an urban environment while balancing the demand and supply has become a major challenge. Rarely do players consider the inability to sustain adequate infrastructure and proper planning. As a result, growth of real estate developments are mainly led by demand rather than infrastructural capacity.

Kenya as a fast-growing nation grapples with the lack of implementation of an urban plan, hence, the rise of unplanned residential estates coming up everywhere.

Superior Homes Kenya is one such developer that is working to curb such challenges,

Planned gated community concept is one of the ways to curb such challenges. Developers must now understand that a controlled development with a set of rules and regulations laid out in an agreement, and signed by all the homeowners will go a long way.

At the present time, the prevailing housing development trend is gated communities. With the COVID- 19 pandemic that restricts us to avoid overcrowding; many have opted to shift to ones that bring out restriction of movement due to availability of amenities and families’ safety from the virus infections. For others, living in a gated community could also be a sense of belonging to a “nyumba kumi” initiative, or for prestige and luxurious lifestyle.

With the rising cases of burglaries, though, the security element is the biggest perk of gated communities for privacy and safety that residents enjoy. It is proven that safety comes in numbers. People naturally feel secure when living within communities than in isolation. Living in a gated community allows homeowners to form associations that look after their interests.

Most gated community estates are managed by an estate management company and each resident owns equal shares in the company. The estate management company is tasked with ensuring that the estate is well secure with a security protocol where there are strict entry and exit points manned by security guards, as well as perimeter walls and an electric fence to safeguard the property and its residents. Security guards also double their efforts to manage hand washing and check temperatures especially for visitors so that measures put in place by government to prevent spread of Covid-19 are enhanced.

No doubt gated communities are a safe haven for single people or those with families. The safety and security in gated communities are especially good for the little ones with aspirations for exploring. Since there are no open roads with fast moving traffic, it is safer to allow children to play outdoors; you wouldn’t have to worry about them bumping into strangers either. With communal areas set for the children, it is also easier for parents to monitor them.

Another pleasant benefit of living in a gated community is the sense of pride and belonging it elicits, and the integrated lifestyle it enables one to enjoy – human beings have since time immemorial been accustomed to a sense of belonging and pride when living within a certain community.

Gated communities usually offer various amenities such as a golf course, tennis courts, football pitches, children playground areas, clubhouse, schools, parking spaces, swimming pool, water supply, shopping centers, garbage collection points, sewerage systems, back-up power, solar systems, water filtration systems, internet provisions, and home working stations which are all part of planning when it comes to the construction of a controlled environment.

These are just some of the perks you would benefit from while staying in a gated community, which would otherwise cost you an exorbitant amount of money. Having such a well – integrated community with such shared facilities makes a comfortable living experience.

Obviously the housing choice is not a simple decision to make. Choosing the right residential location is essential as it also influences the whole family life, their activity, well-being, social life, work, and education among others. And the way I see it, gated communities are indeed the future for sustainable living.

The home is where people typically spend most of their time, a common avenue for social contact and, for most, a major financial, emotional and personal investment. One’s choice of residence also reflects his or her choice of the surrounding neighbourhood, which has a significant impact on one’s well-being and quality of life.

The cost of purchasing a home in a gated community is usually higher compared to unplanned communities. However, it is important to note that homeowners in gated communities are assured of living in a desired environment and a lifestyle that is convenient. Based on this, on what side of the divide are you on?

Ms. Kanyoro is a team member at Superior Homes Kenya

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