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Master-Planned Estates: Privatization, Socio-Spatial Polarization and Community



Master-planned estates are an increasingly proliferating phenomenon in urban development. These primarily residential estates have often been explored under the terms ‘gated community’, ‘planned community’ and ‘common interest development’, however the development of the term ‘master-planned estate’ or MPE by Australian geographers has opened up the terminology describing this phenomenon to a variety of planned residential forms. Three key themes dominate the literature on MPEs: privatization, socio-spatial polarization and community. Through assessing the research completed on MPEs to date, with specific attention to Australian research using this terminology, I explore these key themes, as well as oversights in the literature, particularly in the lack of research on inner-city MPEs. I conclude that new-build gentrification can offer a fruitful launching point to explore the development of inner-city MPEs.