A Dutch scheme to build a utopian gated neighbourhood exclusively for the gay community has met with mixed reactions.
The project dubbed “Gay Village” by developers aims to give members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community a prejudice-free environment with luxuries including tennis courts and a cooking school.
But opponents warn that the plan amounts to the ghettoisation of people who should be able to feel safe without hiding behind locked gates.
Developers propose turning a patch of forested land on the outskirts of Tilburg into a gated community created with input from potential residents. The average price of a home would be €250,000 (£200,000).
“We go further than just housing,” the Gay Village website says.
The motivation for the project was “discrimination and violence against members of the LGBT community”, the website said, creating the “need for a neighbourhood… which gives a greater sense of social cohesion and security”.
The Netherlands ranks as one of the most gay-friendly societies in Europe.
The plan has won the backing of Tilburg’s mayor, Peter Noordanus, who said: “A tolerant city is pleased to have a gay community within its borders.”
The developer proposing the idea has created an online survey to gauge interest from a sector of society often courted for its disposable income.
Amsterdam has a retirement home for the LGBT community and similar projects are underway in France, Spain and Sweden. The United States is already home to several communities aimed at attracting the pink pound.
Source: The Independent