Ungating the city …

Ungating the city …


Written by:

Guibo Sun, Chris Webster, Alain Chiaradia

First Published:

08 Nov 2017, 12:00 am

Ungating the city …

Ungating the city: A permeability perspective

A new paper by Guibo Sun, Chris Webster, Alain Chiaradia is now available online.



China is seeking to prohibit the construction of any new gated communities and to gradually open existing schemes after three decades of growth of large-block gated estates. In this article, we use permeability analysis to explore the ‘what if?’ question posed by the policy: what if gated communities became permeable? We ask the question in respect of non-motorised access. We use two permeability metrics, closeness and betweenness, as outcome measures of gated and non-gated versions of the city. We construct a bespoke complete pedestrian network, rather than using the road network, for our permeability modelling. Nanchang, a medium-sized Chinese city with widespread gated communities, is our study area. A series of permeability analyses with and without gated communities is conducted using GIS and spatial design network analysis (sDNA). On the basis of these analyses, we sequentially sort the gated compounds whose opening will maximise permeability gains with minimum expropriation of property rights through coercive ungating. We offer the analysis to urban scholars, planners and governments by way of a quantified simulation. This study and methodology, which is transferable without high data requirements, can assist urban practitioners in reconfiguring urban form to promote a healthier living environment (more walking) and more economically viable local service centres (greater pedestrian footfall concentrations).


You can access and read the full paper here