“My job requires me to tour other cities and I used to worry for security of my family. But since shifting in Bahria Town Karachi, now I can travel without that tension. Because it’s a gated community project due to which there is no street crime or robberies within the scheme’s premises.” These are the words of Dr. Talha Farooqi who resides in an Iqbal Villa located in Precinct 2.
12-year old young Laiba also enjoys more or less similar peace of mind. As she goes to school alone riding his bicycle herself and often rides it in evening to buy day-to-day grocery stuff from nearby market.
Growing crime rate brings safety and security on top priority for buyers in deciding property’ purchase. That has generated the concept of gated community. It is basically a walled and guard-gated residential scheme or housing estate with strictly controlled entrances from outsiders. These schemes are also dependent on a number of factors including geographical location, demographic composition, community structure and etc.
Yet apart from security personals at entrance, gated communities are supposed to also provide luxury and leisure amenities within the boundary wall. Such housing projects once used to be high-value properties and largely seen as the preserve of the elite, specially serving or retired military and civilian bureaucrats. But now the industry caters to the rapidly growing middle class that is seeking secured housing and comfortable facilities in an affordable project.
At present gated communities are being offered almost in every under-construction housing scheme around the country. Developers are now specially focusing on gated compounds at multiple prices and payment plans that suit not just the rich but the middle class buyers as well. They offer apartments, townhouses and single-family homes in lots of sizes ranging from 120 square yards to 2000 square yards.
The trend for such housing schemes has been growing in urban areas where crime rate has increased and population has grown exponentially over the last decade. According to a report real estate developers have so far built over 250 gated communities across Pakistan in response to rising demands. So it is these communities, in a way, who are actually fueling construction boom in Pakistan at the moment.