As Kenya’s housing stock increases, so does the number of gated communities. A gated community is a group of houses or apartments enclosed within a wall with access through a guarded gate. In this way, individual home security is largely moved from the home to the perimeter.
So why do people like living in them? Here are a few reasons:
1. Sense of privacy and security
With gated communities, services, including security, are pooled by the residents. This means that security is improved and the residents share other costs, such as lighting and gardening in the common areas, refuse disposal and property management. Gated communities are great investments and their popularity is ever increasing. They boast high popularity mainly because they offer a sense of security and privacy to their residents. Security is always near the top of any homebuyers list and the gated community concept fits the bill perfectly in that respect.
Sunshine Gardens, Mlolongo
2. Quiet and Peaceful atmosphere
A gated community tends to be tranquil. Noise is usually controlled allowing you to enjoy moments of peace and quietness. More often than not, gated communities are located in areas of close proximity to towns and main roads, however still maintaining the seclusion of the hustle and bustle of city life. One thing that people have to do in gated communities is learn the concept of co-existing together. This is sometimes difficult to do, but when there are enough residents sharing an interest in an estate, the estate will flourish and the ‘community’ will develop.
Fair Acres, Karen
Gated communities offer some sense of up desirable status that most people aspire to and even would boast about to their friends. When done well, they can be beautiful with great landscaping can bring a garden into the city.
Landscaping view, Fair Acres
4. Spacious and traffic free
In most circumstances gated communities tend to be designed to contain maisonettes, villas, bungalows and apartments, or even a mixture. Tamarind Valley at Utawala has both maisonettes and low rise apartments, making it affordable to different tastes as well as offering an amazingly attractive environment. Traffic is carefully controlled and Tamarind Valley has a number of individual courts with ample parking and each with its own garden areas. This makes the estate ideal for families, in particular, offering spacious areas for kids to play and grow.
Compound view,Tamarind Valley
5. Eco-Friendliness environment
Some gated communities have become creative in replacing mains electricity with natural sources of energy. All of the developments listed in this article have solar water heating. This can reduce the household electricity bill by around 40% which is a welcome benefit to families on a tight budget. Tamarind Valley and Fair Acres also have effluent treatment plants where the effluent is treated to a high standard and pumped back into the estate for flushing toilets (Fair Acres) and irrigation (both). When water is becoming in ever shorter supply it is good to know that these estates are conserving this precious resource. Tamarind Valley even plans to run its effluent treatment plant off solar power – a first for Kenya.
Solar water heater, Tamarind Valley
Photos courtesy of Cherwell Ltd.