Residential segregation in a pre-industrial city: the case of Copenhagen, c. 1700-1850

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The walled, pre-industrial town has been dubbed the ‘walking city’ since all socio-economic layers of society were living in close proximity, and the distances between them could easily be covered by foot. This has led some historians, particularly scholars of the industrialising city, to assume that spatial differentiation was absent prior to large-scale public transport infrastructure. If residential segregation did exist it was vertically rather than horizontally, with floor-level differentiation within houses. Until recently, this view has been left unchallenged due to a scarcity of data on early modern towns. With this paper I seek to shed light on the issue through the case of Copenhagen c. 1700-1850. Property-level occupational data are available as early as 1711 and regular censuses are available from 1787. To quantify socio-economic status occupations in the dataset were classified using the HISCLASS-system, which makes comparison across time and space possible. The information was then geo-coded with a set of reconstructed and digitized cadastral maps from 1689 to 1806. Aggregated to levels of blocks and streets, the data shows considerable socio-economic differentiation in 1711, with the patterns changing towards the end of the period. By 1845 a large, coherent cluster of low-status (mostly manual labour occupations) house blocks had formed in the northern part of the city, while some earlier poor areas now displayed signs of gentrification. This is an indication that the social morphology of the pre-industrial town was much more dynamic than prior research has given it credit for.
StatusUdgivet - 2018
Udgivet eksterntJa
BegivenhedSpatial Humanities 2018 - Lancaster University, Lancaster, Storbritannien
Varighed: 20 sep. 201821 sep. 2018


KonferenceSpatial Humanities 2018
LokationLancaster University

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