This study engages in a comparative analysis of three cities in Egypt, as a lens to explore the formal/informal interface at several scales within the context of a centralized Egyptian state. It utilizes both CLUSTER’s prior extensive research and capacity as an established urban research lab in Cairo, as well as its significant experience working with local communities and stakeholders in each of the three Egyptian cities: Cairo, Alexandria, and Port Said. Through research, mapping and field visits in these cities, the study investigates and empirically analyzes a number of typologies of formal/informal interfaces, such as topographical borders and infrastructure boundaries, including highways, railways and waterways. It looks at this typology through four patterns: borders, crossings, activities and flows. The research aims at challenging the dual-city perception by emphasizing the continuity and flows, and proposing alternative policies for integration and inclusion. The outcome of this research consists of a comprehensive comparative framework, alongside the tools and methodologies developed, to be shared with the wider African Urban Research Initiative (AURI) network. A number of workshops are proposed with other African cities in Dar es-Salaam, Lusaka and Ouagadougou.