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Why people live where they do is the subject of this important study. It is the first attempt to lay down the outlines and logical requirements of an ecological theory that will not only meet the criticisms raised by other writers in the field, but will account for the influence on land use of people’s emotions, of cultural patterns, and of arbitrary planning. For the first time, also, this study introduces to American sociologists and others concerned with land use the theories developed by European writers, and integrates their work with American thought on the subject. The empirical data upon which this study is based are drawn from a detailed survey of land use in five distinct Boston areas.