The development and localisation of a foreign gated community in Beijing

Kevin Lo*, Mark Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The emergence of gated communities for foreign residents in large Chinese cities is the result of economic globalisation, local institutional changes, social relations and cultural globalisation. Using a case study performed in Beijing, this paper seeks to analyse the complex dynamics of foreign gated communities through a critical examination of their key actors. The history of the gated community studied here is divided into two phases: development and localisation. During the development phase, the property developer not only attracted foreign residents through building an international community but also lured Hong Kong investors through the promise of soaring rental returns fuelled by strong demand. During the localisation phase, Chinese residents gradually replaced the developer as the project’s key actors. While the Chinese residents were attracted by the idea of international community, their arrival significantly transformed the community. This paper demonstrates how the survival, character and appearance of a foreign gated community was influenced by temporally and geographically dispersed actors who were subjected to a number of economic, social and cultural forces on a global and a local scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-192
Number of pages7
Early online date16 Apr 2012
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

User-Defined Keywords

  • Foreign gated communities
  • Localisation
  • Community building
  • Beijing, China


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