Following workers of the industrial city across a decade: Residential, occupational, and workplace mobilities, 1881-1891

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Department of Social Sciences


When taking a new job, either across town or across the country, individuals and families face the difficult task of balancing their residential needs while minimizing their commute to work. We know that the decision where to live is based largely on where one is in the life course (Mulder and Hooimeijer, 1999). Moves are triggered primarily by changes in family composition (Clark and Huang, 2003; Mok, 2007; Mulder, 2007), job changes (Brown, 1975; Dieleman, 2001), economic hardship (Clark and Onaka, 1983; Crowley, 2003), the desire to reduce the daily journey to work (Prillwitz et al., 2007; Zax and Kain, 1991), or, often, a combination of these factors (Feijten et al., 2008; Gilliland and Olson, 1998; Kronenberg and Carree, 2012; Olson and Thornton, 2011; Sadler and Lafreniere, 2017). The decision or need to move affords individuals an opportunity to choose an environment that best meets their needs or desires. It may be living in a dense, walkable urban community, on an expanse of land in a rural setting, near specific amenities, or within easy access to the school of choice for their children. With voluntary moves, individuals attempt to improve their overall quality of life through increases in earned income, job satisfaction, social/familial ties, or improvements in their dwelling or neighbourhood quality. These decisions are weighed against the cost of housing and the distance or travel time to work.

Publisher's Statement

© 2018 selection and editorial matter, Ian Gregory, Don DeBats and Don Lafreniere. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315099781

Publication Title

The Routledge Companion to Spatial History