B(u)ypassing conflict: Urban redevelopment in nationally contested cities

Marik Shtern, Scott A. Bollens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper evaluates the role and impact of neoliberal redevelopment strategies in inner-city urban regeneration projects in Belfast, Beirut, and Jerusalem. As governments in these nationally contested cities struggle against embedded geographies of antagonism and segregation, neoliberal and market-based approaches have arisen in the production of new city center spaces in these contested cities. This comparative analysis examines Titanic Quarter in Belfast, Solidere central district in Beirut, and Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem. The cases utilize similar modes of urban reproduction and share common limitations. We find that neoliberal regeneration in contested cities is politically effective and financially successful. Yet, these market-based strategies heighten class-based exclusion and have been a disinterested agent in efforts to bridge urban ruptures associated with ethno-nationalist segregation and past violence. We conclude that analysis of how these projects can contribute to equitable peacebuilding not be subordinated to market prerogatives in more comprehensive project development plans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)958-977
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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