The arrival of travellers and migrants in a city has been described as a critical moment. While some were well-connected and disposed over trustworthy information and sufficient means, others were confronted with a lack of knowledge about the urban context they arrived in and were vulnerable for abuse. In this lecture, the arrival of different mobile groups and their spatial settlement patterns will be discussed against the background of the rapidly transforming port city of Antwerp. By using the infrastructure of GIStorical Antwerp, changes in the urban landscape, the arrival infrastructure and the spatial settlement patterns of migrants will be discussed in the period 1850-1914. How did the arrival infrastructure develop? Were all neighbourhoods accessible for newcomers or did specific ‘arrival neighbourhoods’ emerge? How did it change over time when more people of more diverse social layers tended to move over longer distances? By looking at the mobility figures and settlement patterns in a globalizing port city, urban and social changes will become apparent.
Hilde Greefs is Professor in modern history and member of the Centre for Urban History at the University of Antwerp. She is a specialist in social and economic history of the long nineteenth century. Themes and topics central to her research are migration and mobility, social and economic networks, and social impact of crises in the urban environment. Recent publications in the field of urban and migration history include: Hilde Greefs and Anne Winter (ed.), Migration Policies and Materialities of Identification in European Cities. Papers and Gates, 1500-1930s, New York: Routledge, 2018, 320p; Hilde Greefs and Anne Winter, ‘Cities in Motion. Mobility, Migration Selectivity and Demographic Change in Belgian Cities, 1846-1910’, in: Bruno Blondé et al. ed., Inequality and the City in the Low Countries (1200-2020) (Turnhout: Brepols 2020) 79-100; Ilja Van Damme, Hilde Greefs, Iason Jongepier and Tim Soens, Historical Atlas of Antwerp. Between Aspiration and Achievement (Thoth 2022).