This paper presents initial findings from longer-term transdisciplinary research concerning the social dynamics of urban neighbourhoods. It examines the spatial clustering of ethnicity and class in neighbourhoods over urban history, from Bronze Age Mesopotamia to contemporary cities. Fourteen distinct drivers of social clustering are identified, grouped under the headers of macro-structural forces, the state, local regimes and institutions, and bottom-up processes. The operation of these processes is examined through three historical and three archaeological case studies of clustering. It is concluded that: clustering is a common, but not universal, attribute of cities; there is much variation in clustering patterns, both within and between cities and urban traditions; and, consideration of a wide variety of drivers is required to understand historical and modern residential dynamics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Urban Studies