This book examines the formation of urban neighbourhoods in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.  It departs from ‘neighbourhoods’ to consider identity, coexistence, solidarity, and violence in relations to a place.

Urban Neighbourhood Formations revolves around three major aspects of making and unmaking of neighbourhoods: spatial and temporal boundaries of neighbourhoods, neighbourhoods as imagined and narrated entities, and neighbourhood as social relations. With extensive case studies from Johannesburg to Istanbul and from Jerusalem to Delhi, this volume shows how spatial amenities, immaterial processes of narrating and dreaming, and the lasting effect of intimacies and violence in a neighbourhood are intertwined and negotiated over time in the construction of moral orders, urban practices, and political identities at large.

This book offers insights into neighbourhood formations in an age of constant mobility and helps us understand the grassroots-level dynamics of xenophobia and hostility, as much as welcoming and openness. It would be of interest for both academics and more general audiences, as well as for students of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Urban Studies and Anthropology.

chapter |14 pages


part I|57 pages


chapter 1|19 pages

What makes a township a neighbourhood?

The case of Eldorado Park, Johannesburg

chapter 2|16 pages

Killing time in a Roma neighbourhood

Habitus and precariousness in a small town in Western Turkey

chapter 3|20 pages

Of Basti and bazaar

Place-making and women’s lives in Nizamuddin, Delhi

part II|86 pages


chapter 4|24 pages

Two tales of a neighbourhood

Eyüp as a stage for the Ottoman conquest and Turkish War of Independence

chapter 5|20 pages

Past neighbourhoods

Palestinians and Jerusalem’s ‘enlarged Jewish Quarter’

chapter 6|19 pages

Where is Alexandria?

Myths of the city and the anti-city after cosmopolitanism 1

chapter 7|21 pages

Jerusalem’s lost heart

The rise and fall of the late Ottoman city centre

part III|98 pages


chapter 8|19 pages

Violence, temporality, and sociality

The case of a Kashmiri neighbourhood

chapter 10|19 pages

Negotiating solidarity and conflict in and beyond the neighbourhood

The case of Gülsuyu-Gülensu, Istanbul 1

chapter 11|19 pages

Urban tectonics and lifestyles in motion

Affective and spatial negotiations of belonging in Tophane, Istanbul

chapter 12|20 pages

The Basij of neighbourhood

Techniques of government and local sociality in Bandar Abbas