Religio-nationalism and ‘soft boundaries’: Urban gating in West Jerusalem and Tel Aviv

Akiva Blander, Sarah Moser*, Nufar Avni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Recent scholarship on gated communities has challenged assumptions about the homogeneity of aesthetics and motivations for enclosure, emphasizing the place-bound origins and meanings attached to exclusionary development. It has also called for a conceptual shift in classifying gated communities from the ‘hard’ boundaries of a gate or wall to more ‘soft’ boundaries that achieve a similar outcome of limited or discouraged access. In this article, we examine urban luxury gated communities in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to demonstrate three main points. First, we explore how the unique and vastly different socioeconomic contexts and built characters of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv influence the aesthetics, marketing techniques, and residents of their respective gated communities. Second, we demonstrate how ideological and neoliberal interests have converged in new luxury gated communities, while emphasizing the diverse manifestations of exclusionary development within a single country. Third, luxury gated communities in downtown Jerusalem and Tel Aviv illustrate the need to shift attention away from an increasingly outdated notion of ‘hard’ gatedness towards accounting for the diversity and range of ‘soft boundaries’ that enclose and serve to privatize space while relying upon and perpetuating both local and national social and economic polarization.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors


  • Gated communities
  • Israel
  • Luxury residential development
  • Religio-nationalism
  • Soft boundaries
  • Tel Aviv
  • West Jerusalem


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