Embracing throwntogetherness: unravelling the relational dynamics of borderlands in divided cities

Teresa García Alcaraz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This research delves into the relational character of borderlands examining the nuanced concept of throwntogetherness within contested cities. Whilst prevailing literature often characterises walls and borders as static entities, this study proposes a paradigm shift, advocating for the recognition of borderlands as complex and relational networks. Using a mixed-method research approach, the study examines the profound ramifications of divisions, addresses socio-spatial imbalances, and hidden interconnected human experiences within divided landscapes. Through a comprehensive analysis of the city of Belfast, this research uncovers three interrelated patterns that reflect the spectrum of in-betweenness within interface areas encompassing separation, openness, and seclusion. These patterns extend beyond local geography, revealing broader socio-spatial phenomena. The findings highlight interfaces as junctions of both connection and division, prompting inquiries into effective urban planning and design strategies that foster meaningful relationships and cohesive urban dynamics. By dissecting socio-spatial dynamics that exist in these contested environments, this research unveils the array of tensions and synergies embedded in throwntogetherness, intricately woven into the urban fabric of divided cities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105048
Number of pages12
Early online date24 Apr 2024
Publication statusEarly online date - 24 Apr 2024


  • Belfast
  • Borderlands
  • Divided cities
  • In-betweenness
  • Throwntogetherness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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