1st Edition

Micro-geographies of the Western City, c.1750–1900

Edited By Alida Clemente, Dag Lindström, Jon Stobart Copyright 2021
    262 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    262 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the overlapping spaces in modern Western cities to explore the small-scale processes that shaped these cities between c.1750 and 1900. It highlights the ways in which time and space matter, framing individual actions and practices and their impact on larger urban processes.

    It draws on the original and detailed studies of cities in Europe and North America through a micro-geographical approach to unravel urban practices, experiences and representations at three different scales: the dwelling, the street and the neighbourhood. Part I explores the changing spatiality of housing, examining the complex and contingent relationship between public and private, and commercial and domestic, as well as the relationship between representations and lived experiences. Part II delves into the street as a thoroughfare, connecting the city, but also as a site of contestation over the control and character of urban spaces. Part III draws attention to the neighbourhood as a residential grouping and as a series of spaces connecting flows of people integrating the urban space. Drawing on a range of methodologies, from space syntax and axial analysis to detailed descriptions of individual buildings, this book blends spatial theory and ideas of place with micro-history.

    With its fresh perspectives on the Western city created through the built environment and the everyday actions of city dwellers, the book will interest historical geographers, urban historians and architects involved in planning of cities across Europe and North America.

    1. Introduction

    Alida Clemente, Dag Lindström and Jon Stobart

    Part 1: Houses and Households: Spaces, Practices, and Representations

    2. Toronto’s Early Apartment Houses: A Micro-Geography

    Richard Dennis

    3. The Brilliant Idea of the Bookkeeper Johan Peter Frisk and the Coming of an Urban Wooden Housing Culture in Linköping, Sweden

    Göran Tagesson

    4. The Shop and the Home: Commercial and Domestic Space in Eighteenth-Century England

    Matt Jenkins and Jon Stobart

    5. Representing a Disreputable House

    Ulrik Langen

    Part 2: Streets and Pavements: Sociability, Improvement, and Conflict

    6. Sidewalks and Alignment of the Streets: The Gap between Large-Scale Planning and the Building-Scale in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Brussels-Paris)

    Christophe Loir and Thomas Schlesser

    7. Liberalism Underfoot: A Micro-Geography of Street Paving and Social Dissolution—Brunswick Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, 1898-1899

    Phillip Gordon Mackintosh

    8. Policing Stockholm’s Filth: Flows to Fixedness, 1776–1836

    Tobias Larsson

    9. Representing the ‘Other’ Berlin, c. 1900: Micro-geographies of the Proletarian City

    Isabel Rousset

    Part 3: Neighbourhoods: Networks, Spaces, and Identities

    10. Public Houses and Hidden Networks: Roles of Women in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Montreal

    Mary Ann Poutanen and Sherry Olson

    11. The Micro-Geography of Political Meeting Places in Manchester and Sheffield c.1780-1850

    Sam Griffiths and Katrina Navickas

    12. Trouble at the Edge of Town: Policing Montreal’s Urban Periphery in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century

    Dan Horner

    13. Conclusions

    Alida Clemente, Dag Lindstrom and Jon Stobart


    Alida Clemente is Lecturer and Assistant Professor of Economic History at the University of Foggia. She has published on urban and regional economic history of the Mediterranean between the 17th and the 19th centuries, with special regard to fisheries, luxury consumption, and famines.

    Dag Lindström is Professor of History at Uppsala University. He has published on urban social and cultural history, history of crime, craft guilds, leisure culture and unmarried adults.

    Jon Stobart is Professor of history at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has published on a range of topics with retailing and consumption during the 18th century, including second-hand trade, groceries, shopping practices and the supply and material culture of the country house.