Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Community and Regional Planning


Community and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Timothy Borich


There has been a rise in the development of gated communities in the United States since the mid 1980s. Residents opt to move into gated developments for reasons such as increased safety, noise and traffic reduction, aesthetics and yard maintenance, prestige, control, exclusivity, and the protection of property values. Gated communities are often regulated by a self-governing homeowners association, however, residents often find the association's regulations too controlling. By their nature, gated communities separate residents from the broader urban environment. They are criticized as being insular, exclusive, reactionary, and socially isolating, contradicting the professional planning principles of openness, access, street connectivity, diversity, mixed use, housing choice, and equity. While some may criticize them, gated communities continue to be a great success in the United States and are appearing in Iowa. This case study examines Glen Oaks Residential Community, one of the first gated communities in West Des Moines and the state of Iowa at large. Residents of the community were surveyed in order to have a better understanding of the demographical make-up of the community, to determine the primary motivation for residents to move behind the gates, and to evaluate resident satisfaction.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Rachael Bess Goldberg



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

125 pages