Founded on a critical reading of the new comparative turn in urban geography and planning studies, this paper seeks to complicate our understandings of theoretical labels attributed to different cities. The research explores how, in an era of growing neo-liberalization, ethno nationalism and international migration, cities are mixing and dividing in unpredicted and unordinary development patterns. In Jerusalem, despite an active ethno-national conflict, a lack of development in Palestinian areas is generating market led mixing of opposing ethno-national groups. In Stockholm, exclusionary housing policies, failure of government led anti-segregation schemes and mass privatisation of the housing market has generated ethnic polarisation of the inner city separating it from its diverse minority peripheries. Placing Stockholm and Jerusalem’s with their starkly contrasting histories and social and spatial regional and national politics allows us to learn across what have been considered in urban studies as incommensurable cases. The findings suggest that it is timely to start moving beyond neo-liberalism and ethno-nationalism as discrete global forces determining urban segrigation patterns in different cities, to better adapt planning policy and practice to ethnic minorities and migrants in a fractured and complex un-ordinary urban reality.