This thesis is an urban and social micro-history, the subject is Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, and the focus is on the everyday lived experience of the city. The period of study extends from colonial settlement in 1836 until 1881 when publication of a comprehensive city survey and census data most closely correlate. Edward Gibbon Wakefield’s plan for systematic colonisation, and Adelaide’s colonial gridded plan merged to create a unique genesis for this new colonial settlement. Emigrants, as individual units of the social plan, and acre blocks, as units of the urban plan, are examined as constituent parts of the city’s composition. Patterns of settling emerge from within the complex material composition of the city and are examined from a singular viewpoint before being situated within wider ranging discussions of Adelaide’s early development.