The post-structuralist writings of Foucault theorize heterotopias as places where the technologies and discipline of social order are broken down, or at least temporarily suspended, and reordered (the school, the military camp) or reconstructed to create new spaces where microcosms of society are transformed and protected (museums, heritage sites). Heterotopia is a place where there is a blurring of public-private distinctions, a conceptual or physical border or boundary separating heterotopia from everyday life, a regiment of rules and practices that are distinct within heterotopia and a sense of sanctuary or safe haven such that a special kind of community develops expressed in inclusion/exclusion or insider/outsider distinctions (see De Cauter and Dehaene in this volume). I use these heterotopian characteristics to consider whether gated communities in the USA constitute heterotopias. I use the ‘talk’ of residents and conceptual constructs developed from the discourse analysis of resident interviews and participant observation field notes from former research (Low 2003) to substantiate how the gated community may be another kind of heterotopia – one that does not enhance urban space, but reduces and subverts it.