‘The happiest people in the world’:
‘The happiest people in the world’

…live in Copenhagen, Denmark, say the polls. Continuing our series of looking at European cities as resources for cool, here are more things about this Danish city you may not be aware of:
– As stated previously, 62.5% of its employees are in knowledge-based jobs, the highest in Europe.
– 32.5% of its residents have an academic degree, more than 80% speak English (and speak it well!).
– It is known as Europe’s leading biotech and medical research location, with a new Biotech Research Innovation Center expected to compete with MIT.
– The Copenhagen region is far and away Europe’s leader in patents.
– The city is also on top in international studies on competitiveness, quality of life and recreational value.
– It’s reputation in magazines is as a ‘cool, cultural and creative’ ‘trend destination’.
– 90% of its businesses are run by self-employed entrepreneurs.
– It’s gaining international recognition for fashion, film and music.

Not much can be said at this moment that the characteristics exhibited by the city of Copenhagen are cause & effect outcomes. If we added all those things to Chicago (jobs requiring more higher-education, an emphasis on knowledge, business expertise, a bigger creative-class), would Chicago become even happier?

I doubt it. Firstly, those qualities are definitely aspects of our economy which just aren’t there and would take a couple decades to achieve.

  1. Our public school system needs major improvement.
  2. Our outdoor lives need to be safer and less polluted – by noise, traffic congestion, and poison in our air from fossil fuels.
  3. Chicago will need to adopt policies that foster innovative small businesses.

Inevitably, our car culture would need to subside and we’ll need more educated people.

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