CHICAGO, April 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- North Park University Provost Michael O. Emerson has co-authored a new book about the two diverging trends that define how modern cities are developing, and the consequences choosing either one will have on future urban centers.
The book, "Market Cities, People Cities: The Shape of our Urban Future" (NYU Press), co-written with University of Buffalo professor Kevin T. Smiley, delves deeply into the government policies and cultures of Houston, Texas, and Copenhagen, Denmark. The authors also studied various data from 100 other cities as part of their research.
Emerson and Smiley paid particular attention to how these city's policies affect their residents' living conditions, access to transportation, trust, and poverty level, among other issues.
They identify Houston and related cities as a "Market Cities," which focused on wealth, jobs, individualism and economic opportunities; meanwhile, Copenhagen and related cities are described as a "People Cities," which emphasized egalitarianism, an active civil society, and government investment in infrastructure.
"This book completely changes our vocabulary about how cities evolve," said William Fulton, a professor at Rice University, former mayor, and the author of several books on urban social issues. "The book gives urban decision makers a new way to understand their cities and shape policies to create the kind of city that's right for their city's residents."
As part of their research, Emerson and Smiley spent time living in both Houston and Copenhagen.
"In researching this book, I saw there are two fundamentally different kinds of cities with different end goals, and the differences are profound," Emerson said. "So profound that the lives of people living in these different types of cities are dramatically impacted. As the majority of people now lives in cities, the kinds of cities we build will define our very humanity."
Emerson has authored 15 books on sociological issues. He previously was a professor of sociology and urban studies before being named North Park's Chief Academic Officer in 2015.
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