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Atmospheres beyond the Conflict City/Ordinary City Divide

Sara Fregonese


Urban conflict literature has attempted new comparisons between contested cities in conflict zones and cities with no armed conflict. This literature tends to use representational frameworks around defensive planning and normative government discourses. In this article, I propose to expand these frameworks and to engage with epistemologies of lived experience to produce new relational accounts linking “conflict cities” with “ordinary cities”. The article accounts for the lived, sensory and atmospheric in exploring the legacies of conflict on the everyday urban environments. It then reflects on the everyday and experiential effects of counterterrorism in ordinary cities. While this is designed to minimize threat, it also alters urban spatiality in a way reminiscent of urban conflict zones. It then explores the unequal impacts of counterterrorism across urban publics, and their experiential connections with practices of counterinsurgency. The article is structured around two ‘shockwaves’ entwining lived experiences across seemingly unrelatable urban settings.

Open access


Experiential Landscapes of Terror

Sunčana Laketa, Sara Fregonese, and Damien Masson


This special section addresses how the spatiality of terrorism and security responses mobilize and impact the realm of experience. The articles presented here expose how terrorism is encountered as a felt experience by urban residents in Europe through an analysis that encompasses several realms including the body, the intimate, the domestic, and the urban public space. These works develop existing scholarship on the European urban geographies of terrorism, by looking beyond established approaches to normative range of actors and infrastructures that underlie terrorism and counter-terror security responses, and by exploring the fine-grained connections between felt experience, urban space, and global politics. Moreover, in focusing on the experiential landscapes of terror, we start exploring geographies where healing, trust, and societal reconnection can be imagined in the wake of terror.