A project of former Kinder Institute Co-director, Michael Emerson, this effort surveys Copenhagen, with an eye towards comparisons with the results of the Kinder Houston Area Survey and an interest in issues of sustainability, crime, transportation and more.

To better understand Houston and other urban American cities, Michael Emerson, former co-director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, moved to Denmark’s capital city for one year as part of the emerging Global Cities Initiative. While there, Emerson taught, conducted research and explored how European cities like Copenhagen compare to their U.S. counterparts.

“To understand Houston in particular and cities in general requires a comparative perspective. Given the growing interconnection of cities around the world and given Houston’s rising role among cities this kind of research is imperative,” Emerson said. “The initiative seeks to situate Houston in careful comparative study with other major cities around the globe. This kind of work will help us suggest policies to better Houston and to better cities everywhere.”

Emerson collaborated with urban researchers in Copenhagen, but also worked with the Mistra Urban Futures Center at Chalmers University in Sweden.

Students working with Emerson explored different issues raised in the first annual Copenhagen Area Survey:

  • Copenhagen's Green Image: Where the City and Citizens Stand & Differ on Climate Change
  • How Do Copenhageners Cope with Climate Change?
  • Fear of Crime: Victimization in Copenhagen and Houston
  • Length of Residence and Higher-Order Goods in Greater Copenhagen
  • Attitudes towards Redistribution of Wealth in a Welfare System
  • A Mix for Sustainability: Analyzing the relationship between mixed-use development and sustainable transportation in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Religion in Copenhagen
  • Public Transportation and Satisfaction in Copenhagen

Read the full collection here.


Head shot of Michael Emerson

Michael Emerson

  • Kinder Fellow
  • Department Head, Professor of Sociology
  • University of Illinois Chicago