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Gated Neighbourhoods and privatisation of urban security in Ibadan Metropolis

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Oluseyi Fabiyi

Chapter 4. Privatisation of public space and urban dynamics in Ibadan metropolis

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1This section is mainly on discussions on the nature and type of privatisation of street networks in the selected neighbourhoods. A total number of 862 access streets were examined and the types of security points and access control were evaluated. The data were collected through a portable map and a structured questionnaire. The field enumerators were guided on how to insert the location of the gates on the map and fill the corresponding data sheet (questionnaire). There were quite a number of inactive security points where only evidence available of their existence are stumps of pillars ; such points were discarded from consideration since it was not possible to obtain information on their characteristics. From the streets visited, about 24.5 % are in the high density areas, 63.8 % in the medium density areas while 11.7 % are m the low density areas as shown in the Table below.

Table 4.1 Sample distribution by density zone

Table 4.1 Sample distribution by density zone

Source : Author’s field work 2004.

2The characterisation of the neighbourhoods into different densities was based on the Field observation of the neighbourhoods using the parameters earlier discussed for categorisation adapted from Fabiyi(1999).

Privatisation of neighbourhood street access

3Gated neighbourhood is specitically neighbourhood bias in Ibadan metropolis as observed during the field work. It is more prevalent in the residential areas. Where residential areas intermix with high commercial activities gated communities are rare. Two major types of enclosures were observed in the study area and they are cross bar and iron gate enclosures. The pattern of gated neighbourhoods favours the predominantly residential areas as shown in Figure 4.1.

Fig. 4.1 : Location of security points in Ibadan metropolis

Fig. 4.1 : Location of security points in Ibadan metropolis

4The control of street and privatisation is prevalent in the north eastern part and the south eastern part of the metropolis. It is noteworthy that these areas are also close to the main transport axis from Lagos to Ibadan that is the Lagos / Ibadan express way. Since Street access control is made to restrict vehicular assisted crime it is obvious that the closer the neighbourhoods to the main transportation network the higher the risk of been attacked by armed robbers.

Types of enclosures Crossbars

5The cross bar enclosure refers to the long iron bars laid across two metal stumps, usually erected below the height of one(l) meter or less. It is erected across the paved surface of the access road to restrict vehicular movement into or out of the neighbourhood. During the field survey, a total of 187 active cross bars and 143 abandoned crossbars were found in the study area. These cross bars are erected across the access into the major streets of the neighbourhoods mainly to restrict vehicular movement. In most cases, it is possible to jump over them and pedestrians can manoeuvre around them. The field work shows that the abandoned cross bars are common around areas where the road condition are practically impassable for vehicles or where gates have been constructed to replace crossbars. The pattern of network is a major factor in determining the number of cross bars or gates in a given neighbourhood. While some neighbourhoods could be closed with only two security points on the main accesses into and out of the neighbourhoods, others require more than two usually up to five closures. Out of these crossbars that are active, 76.9 % are found in the medium density areas while 14.5 % are found in the rich neighbourhoods (the low density areas), only about 8.6 % are found in the high density neighbourhoods. Less abandoned cross bars were however found in the medium density zone ; though the number is still quite high due to a larger sample size from the medium density areas, 63.6 % cross bars are found in the medium density areas. While the 23.1 % were abandoned in the high density zones, only 13.3 % of the abandoned cross bars were found in the low density areas. Medium and high density areas seem to have high preference for the crossbars Figures 4.2 and 4.3 show the spatial pattern of the types of cross bars in the study area.

Figure 4.2 ; Locations of active cross bars in Ibadan metropolis

Figure 4.2 ; Locations of active cross bars in Ibadan metropolis

6Some abandoned cross bars could be found in the rich neighbourhoods of Old Bodija and New Bodija and parts of Eleiyele areas, but most of them could still be found in the medium and high density residential areas. The two maps however clearly show that gated communities are rare in the commercial areas and the core residential areas as Beere, Mapo. Oniyanrin, Oje, Labo, Dugbe among others. The core areas in Ibadan metropolis are predominantly not motorable, most of the accesses are lanes usually less than 3 meters while major parts are completely inaccessible by cars.

7Therefore, since access restriction m Ibadan metropolis are devices against automobile assisted crimes, it would be unnecessary to construct gates on inaccessible roads. The field work also shows that where access roads have become impassable due to neglect and erosion impact, the security points are usually abandoned.

Table 4.2 : Types of cross bars by residential density

Table 4.2 : Types of cross bars by residential density

Source : Authors’field work 2004.

8From the Table 4.2, the high density areas have more abandoned cross bars (67.3 %) than those that are in use(32.7 %). There is a similar condition in the low density areas where 41.3 % of the cross bars are abandoned and only 58.7 % are in use. Some abandoned cross bars in the low density areas are replaced by gates. The cases of abandoned cross bars in the high density areas could be due to breakdown in the organisations that erected them. Some landlord associations that erected gates in the past have become less cohesive and thus could not maintain the security networks put in place in the neighbourhoods. It appears some of the associations were very active when there were security threats as the case was in the early eighties and nineties. It is also likely that the residential mobility of the low density areas (where owner occupier housing is common)is less compared with the high density areas(where multi tenanted housing is more prevalent).

Figure 4.3 : Location of abandoned crossbars in Ibadan metropolis

Figure 4.3 : Location of abandoned crossbars in Ibadan metropolis

Gates

9On the other hand gates which are made of iron constructed across both paved surface and road edges m the neighbourhoods, Some have provision for pedestrian passage through small gates, while majority completely restrict both vehicular and pedestrian accesses. In the course of the study, a total of 191 gates were found m the study area.

Table 4.3 Gate type in the study area

Table 4.3 Gate type in the study area

Source : Author’s field work 2004.

10Table 4.3 above indicates the most prevalent types of gates in the study area as the perforated type. The gate types are similar m design and size throughout the study area. Only about 9.9 % of the gates found in the neighbourhoods are abandoned.

11More frequently used gates are found in the medium density areas having about 76 % . this is followed by the low density areas with 14.5 % and the high density areas with 8.6 %. The medium density areas seem to prefer the use of cross bar compared with other neighbourhoods m Ibadan metropolis. However the data collected from this type of neighbourhood are also very high. Figure 4.3 shows the pattern different types of gates in the study area.

12Figure 4.4 shows that perforated gate type which is the dominant type m the study area is common in the planned areas, especially the low density areas, such as Old and New Bodija, Jericho areas. Anfaani layout, among others. This pattern specifically confirms the fact that rich neighbourhoods prefer complete enclosure as earlier discussed.

Fig. 4.4 : Locations of perforated gates in Ibadan metropolis

Fig. 4.4 : Locations of perforated gates in Ibadan metropolis

13In some cases however, both cross bars and gates are combined to restrict access. The characteristics of the cross bars found in the study area suggest that the access restrictions are particularly targeted at automobile assisted crimes, because most cross bars do not prevent pedestrian access. (See figure 4.5. for the example of a cross bar and gate.) The cross bar type are of varying sizes, while some, are more sophisticated, some are just iron bars across neighbourhood roads. Provisions are made for locks on the crossbar so that it could be locked against non residents. Most of the crossbars are unmanned especially at night. The security personnel only lock the cross bars at night and stay away from the cross bar areas. This could be attributed to the security implications since the cross bars could be accessed by pedestrians it is safer for the curator to stay away from the location of the crossbars. However, this pattern has been shown to constitute danger to residents who require going out or coming in at night. The study shows that the knowledge of the person in charge of the key is only for the exclusive few in the neighbourhood. The attempt for security could result in grave danger to the residents in case of emergencies. Cross bars are dominant in the poor and middle income neighbourhoods, while the rich neighbourhoods often combine cross bars with gates as double security efforts.

14Perforated gates arc cheaper to construct and easily maintained, but the feeling of insecurity increases with perforations on gates. It is likely that the cost is the major reason for the preponderance of perforated gates m Ibadan metropolis. Individual housing gales in the metropolis are usually flat sheet types.

15A small percentage 9.9 of the gates is abandoned. While a number of cross bars have been abandoned, most gates are-still active. The field observation reveals that some security points have both cross bars and gates on the same spot. In such cases, the gates are usually more recent than the cross bars, it is likely that when gates are constructed, such crossbars are often abandoned. There are few cases however where gates and crossbars are combined to ensure maximum protection. It was observed that most low density areas are properly laid out and thus few gates arc required to restrict access. In some housing estates two gates sometimes create a complete enclosure in such neighbourhoods, however in the medium density and high density areas, the designs are more porous and restricting accessibility required closing many access roads and thus more security points.

16The spearman correlation analysis shows a very low r value of 0.37 indicating a very weak association between environmental characteristics and the types of gates. The socio economic characteristics of the neighbourhood residents could not be easily determined by the environmental quality as observation shows that there are only few areas where a homogenous social class resides in Ibadan. Most of the neighbourhoods have mixture of people that are on their way up the economic ladder such as young working classes and those that are on their way down the economic ladder such as retirees and the aged Differentials like this in the economic status make it difficult to agree on appropriate budget for gating in the neighbourhoods while some prefer expensive gates others will rather want the association to go for a cheaper gates ; especially if it will be borne by all the resident in the neighbourhoods.

Figure 4.5 : Examples of gates and cross bar in the study area

Figure 4.5 : Examples of gates and cross bar in the study area

17The height of most security cross bars are below 1 meter in all the areas under considerations. However, the gate heights range from 2.5 meters to 4 meters with the mean height of 2.5 meters. More than 45.2 % of the gates are 2.5.meters high. The gates are designed with different protective mechanism on top to ensure that no one can climb them or jump over. The protection include sharp spikes on top of gates and barbed wires with or without electricity. Over 91.1% of the gates have protective objects on top. Some 66.7 % of the gates in the low density neighbourhoods have some other form of protection apart from spikes on the gates which are common to all gate types in the entire study area. There are no such types of gates in the high and medium density areas. Most gates are constructed over the paved surface or passable parts of roads, however, a number of gates also have walls that completely block accessibility both for pedestrian and vehicles. On the whole, 61.5 % of the gates have only pillars and low walls joined to the gates, 27.1 % have tall walls with broken bottles on top of the walls. The broken bottles were inserted during construction. 11.4 % of the walls linking gates have iron spikes on top of the walls (See table 4.4). Out of ail the gate walls found m the high density areas, 65.2 % of them are low walls without protection on top while 20.8 % of the gate walls have broken bottles. Some 16.7 % have spikes, in the medium density. On the other hand 71 % of the gate walls have no protection while 17.7 % have broken bottles and 11.3 % have iron spikes on the walls. The low density area however show a somewhat different patterns of all the gates walls found in the areas, 100 % have protection on top.

18The higher concern for security is revealed in the low density areas as most gate, 83.3 % are above 4 meters. Only 16.7 % have gates below 4 meters which compares with high density areas where only 12.5 % of the gates are 4 meters and above and medium density areas having 34.9 % of the gates more than 4 meters high.

Table 4.4 : Gate wall types in the study area

Table 4.4 : Gate wall types in the study area

Source : Authors’field work 2004.

19The rich neighbourhoods though have fewer gates, yet have more resources to commit to the erection of gates in their neighbourhoods. This accounts for the quality of the gates as observed in the study area. Most low density neighbourhoods also have enclosed residential apartment which also explain higher concern for safe residence, in the medium and high density areas however most houses have no fence, the residents therefore heavily depend on the communal security provided in the neighbourhoods.

Street accessibility levels

20Majority of the residential streets observed in Ibadan are Open treets 73.8 % while 19.7 % are temporarily open , that is ,open only during the day and closed at night. About 2.8 % are permanently closed to cars while 1.6 % are permanently closed to both pedestrian and cars.

21Most of the gates and cross bars are open during the day and locked at night. The period of control is fairly even in both rich and the poor areas. Most street gates are open to pedestnan during the day and closed at night. The time of closing ranges between 22hrs(local time) and 23hrs(local time). The opening time also ranges from 5hrs(local time) to 6hrs(local time).

Table 4.5 : Gate opening time in the study area

Table 4.5 : Gate opening time in the study area

Source : Authors’field work 2004.

Fig. 4. 7 : Location of manned security gates in the study area

Fig. 4. 7 : Location of manned security gates in the study area

22Table 4.5 shows that the usual time of opening gates that are temporarily open is 6 am(600 hours local time) 93.8 % of the gates fall into this category.

23Most of the gates are not manned at night. Night watchmen lock gates and hide at within the neighbourhoods. This approach is reported to constitute problem to police patrol at nights and injurious to residents during emergencies. Only a few of the gates have guard houses attached to them, a total of 39 security points have guard houses attached to them, while about 61.2 percent of this figure have guards manning the gates both during the day and at night. The location of security points with guard houses and guards is shown in figures 4.6 and 4.7 respectively.

24There are few controlled/restricted access neighbourhoods ; these are only found in the rich neighbourhoods. The controlled access areas are places where different forms of checks and restrictions are imposed on visitors at the neighbourhood entrances. Some of the controls imposed on visitors include inquiries about mission in the neighbourhood, giving of tally, signing of visitors’ register and recording of car registration. Some gates however are permanently closed in the study areas ; such gate types are found at the end of cul des sac , streams or undevelopable lands where criminals could hide. These are also most prominent in the rich neighbourhoods of Old Bodija at Ojo-Ibadan street and New Bodija at Ikolaba zones.

25The field survey reveals that guards’ houses are not restricted to the security points but different parts of the neighbourhoods are dotted with additional guardhouses especially in the rich areas. The guardhouses are however not fortified, rather they serve as shelter from vagaries of extreme weather conditions. Within the low density residential areas (rich neighbourhoods) only 22.7 % of the gates manned by guards give tally or register vehicles that move into the neighbourhoods.

26Gated neighbourhood is localised even among the residential neighbourhoods in the metropolis. The low density neighbourhoods and the medium density neighbourhoods are more favoured in the preponderance of neighbourhood street gates in Ibadan metropolis.

Table des illustrations

Titre Table 4.1 Sample distribution by density zone
Légende Source : Author’s field work 2004.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/476/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 84k
Titre Fig. 4.1 : Location of security points in Ibadan metropolis
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/476/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 224k
Titre Figure 4.2 ; Locations of active cross bars in Ibadan metropolis
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/476/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 200k
Titre Table 4.2 : Types of cross bars by residential density
Légende Source : Authors’field work 2004.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/476/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 124k
Titre Figure 4.3 : Location of abandoned crossbars in Ibadan metropolis
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/476/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 208k
Titre Table 4.3 Gate type in the study area
Légende Source : Author’s field work 2004.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/476/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 84k
Titre Fig. 4.4 : Locations of perforated gates in Ibadan metropolis
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/476/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 252k
Titre Figure 4.5 : Examples of gates and cross bar in the study area
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/476/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 384k
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/476/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 200k
Titre Table 4.4 : Gate wall types in the study area
Légende Source : Authors’field work 2004.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/476/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 84k
Titre Table 4.5 : Gate opening time in the study area
Légende Source : Authors’field work 2004.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/476/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 64k
Titre Fig. 4. 7 : Location of manned security gates in the study area
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/476/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 193k

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