Date of Award


Document type


Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Political Science

First Advisor

John Brigham

Second Advisor

Laura Jensen

Third Advisor

Ellen Pader

Subject Categories

Political Science


This dissertation focuses on the dynamics of gated communities with attention to the municipality of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Despite the growing numbers of gated communities worldwide, research on this matter remains scarce. I argue that a “gated community consensus” has emerged in Puerto Rico. The hypothesis is that in Guaynabo, the municipality facilitates the emergence of gated communities in order to change the face of the city and reap an economic windfall. Interviews demonstrate the municipality’s commitment to facilitating the construction of new communities and lending support to older communities. Most of these gated communities respond to high end income projects, thus altering the profile of Guaynabo’s residents. This has all led to the development of Guaynabo as a commodity, Guaynabo City, suitable to contractors, the municipality, and interested buyers. The gates confer prestige in the municipality.