Roderick J. Lawrence



Since the 1950s academics and professionals have proposed a number of disciplinary and sector based interpretations of why, when and where households move or choose to stay in the same housing unit at different periods of the life cycle and especially the family cycle. This article challenges studies that only analyse one set of factors. The article stems from a synthesis of 20 years of research by the author who  has an interdisciplinary training in the broad field of people-environment relations. First, it reviews some key concepts related to human ecology, including housing, culture, identity and cultivation. Then it will consider how these concepts can be applied to interpret residential mobility using an interdisciplinary approach. An empirical case study of residential mobility in Geneva, Switzerland is presented in order to show how this approach can help improve our understanding of the motives people have regarding the wish to stay in their residence or to move elsewhere.



Interdisciplinary; housing demand; human ecology; residential mobility

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