A new generation of 'successful' cities is feared to have overreached sustainable limits with respect to quality of life. While the city offers the prospect of time-space efficiency for skilled workers it can be a hostile place for anyone juggling multiple caring and earning roles, where neo-liberal emphasis on self-reliance combines with ruthless competition for scarce amenities. This book features cross-national and inter-city comparative research, highlighting significant contradictions underpinning the nature of production, consumer expectation, work-life balance and urban environmental quality. It presents compelling evidence from innovative household biographic analysis that social and gender inequalities are growing alongside congested and degraded physical environments. Specific examples are drawn from London, Edinburgh, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. Each one of eight chapters explores a discrete dimension of the way people organize their working lives in post-industrial cities, taking close account of the social and environmental impact of this balancing act.