Fences

 

As I looked around the older neighborhoods of South Phoenix, I noticed the low chain link fences appearing commonly along the front yards of the homes.  In contract, when I was observing the newer communities along Baseline road, I noticed tall walls and high wrought iron gates with entry control points

restricting access into the neighborhood. 

            According to Rojas in the Urban Cultures article, fences are used to mingle and socialize with neighbors and visitors.  The borders that the fences create actually attract people to meet and converse with one another.  The fences are low enough for people to hang and lean up against.  Unfortunately, I was unable to witness any social interactions taking place along a fence. 

            The newer communities seem to prefer solid walls and taller gates.  The only things visible were the trees and roof tops of pastel colored homes.  I couldnít see anything inside the neighborhood that didnít clear the height of the wall.  The walls and gates seemed to serve on purpose, to keep people out.   Could this have an impact affecting the way the people in this subdivision interact with each other? 

The older neighborhoods with low chain link fences create a boundary that attracts people to come together and interact.  The fences seem to display openness in the community while at the same time marking territorial boundaries.  On the other hand, the newer molded communities with tall solid walls and wrought iron gates seem to isolate the community and its inhabitants from the rest of the world.  One thing I did see was lawn furniture and living room furniture arranged out in the front yard of an older home.  The chain link fence around the front yard was low.  It looked as if the residents used the front yard as a place to hang out.  There arenít any fences in the front yards of the newer homes which is usually left for desert landscaping.  It is ironic how the walls and gates built around the new homes keeps the community out of the community. 

 

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