In cities like Los Angeles, on the hard edge of postmodernity, architecture and the police apparatus are being merged to an unprecedented degree. The militarization of city life is increasingly visible everywhere in the built environment of the 1990s. The universal consequence of the crusade to secure the city is the destruction of any truly democratic urban space. The security-driven logic of contemporary urban design finds its major "grassroots" expression in the frenetic efforts of Los Angeles's affluent neighborhoods to physically insulate their real-estate values and life-styles. Luxury developments outside the city limits have often been able to incorporate as "fortress cities", complete with security walls, guarded entries, private police, and even private roadways. The essence of security was a site plan clearly derived from Jeremy Bentham's proposed Panopticon—the eighteenth-century model prison to be constructed radially so that a single guard in a central tower could observe every prisoner at all times.