City Builder Book Club (Arrival City): Chapter 5 sketch


Chapter 5: The First Great Migration: How the West Arrived


…the past two decades has seen a revolution in the techniques of analysing social mobility – both intergenerational mobility (did you end up better of worst than your parents?) and intragenerational mobility (did you better or worse off than you were born?)

..the years of increased social mobility, in fact, also happen to be the years during which public education, child-labour laws, hygiene and housing reforms and rudimentary social welfare were introduced, and numerous studies have found that the two trends tracked one another

…The year 1848 marks a significant fulcrum point…it was in 1848 that the first English Public Health Act was enacted, that child labour was banned and that the first real public housing development was proposed.  None of these reforms would really be comprehensively or properly funded for decades but they began having a gradual and noticeable effect on social mobility

…if you wanted guaranteed social mobility, you had to cross the Atlantic


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