A Shunyi residents’ association has put forward proposals that would see the outlying suburb become the world’s largest gated community. On Tuesday, March 29, the Shunyi Neighborhood Development Council published its plans to have a 100km perimeter fence erected around the district’s central urban area, which accounts for 19sqkm of the district’s total 1,000sqkm area.
Under the proposals, the fence would be 5m high, constructed of heavy duty steel railings topped by spikes, with a lattice structure ensuring the barrier’s efficacy. Gates and checkpoints will be set up at various points to ensure residents can easily come and go without compromising safety. The Shunyi plans have been modeled on security arrangements at the Interlomas complex on the outskirts of Mexico City, currently the world’s largest gated community.
The Council’s statement explains: "The fence is intended to strengthen the spirit of our community, enshrining Shunyi’s distinct identity from the rest of Beijing. We don’t see this as a barrier of exclusion – it’s about keeping the Shunyi spirit alive. It’s a fence of love." At Jenny Lou’s in Pinnacle Plaza, one Dragon Bay Villa resident added: "Many of us already feel like we have little in common with the rest of Beijing, so why not make that separation physical? And more to the good if we can break a Guinness World Record in the process."
There seems to be broad support for the Shunyi fence in other areas of Beijing – a Beijinger poll found 94% of readers would support the erection of a Shunyi fence. The Shunyi Neighborhood Development Council will now put their plans to the relevant people for approval, but are confident of being able to begin construction on the perimeter fence by August this year.