BUILD | Aalborg University – Mapping the Regional Quality of Life

Cities and Towns

Copenhagen, Denmark
Multicolored houses along the canal in Nyhavn harbor, Copenhagen, Denmark

BUILD | Aalborg University


As economic inequality between regions increases across much of Europe and North America, more and more highly-educated young adults are migrating out of underserved communities to large urban areas to pursue education and job opportunities. These persistent patterns of who leaves and who stays behind only serve to further reinforce regional inequity.

Harnessing the Power of Data:

Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge Impact Report

BUILD’s aggregated population data, representing 30 years of quality of life indicators, is now available and being used in collaboration with an urban research and design consulting firm to impact the development of a new residential neighborhood in Copenhagen.

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  1. 1

    Granular Geospatial Areas in Denmark

    In collaboration with Data Clinic (Two Sigma), BUILD developed an open-source method to create homogenous residential areas in Denmark, which does not currently exist. These areas are critical toward understanding and analyzing local developments over time.

  2. 2

    Promotion of Data-Driven Insights in Regional Planning

    BUILD organized and aggregated population data on core quality of life indicators, which include housing prices, education levels, local wage levels, access to education, migration rate, and labor market status. The data has been collected over a 30-year period (from 1990—2021), allowing for the evaluation of past and future political initiatives at the local and regional level. The processed data and geospatial areas themselves will also become open-source, enabling researchers and other interested parties to be able to do their own analyses and further aggregate geographies.

  3. 3

    Interactive Website on Economic Prosperity

    In 2023, BUILD will launch a website on which the public can compare each area’s development across a 30-year period. The website will feature interactive maps and graphs illustrating key insights and supplying an overview of regional differences, empowering all key stakeholders to use it as part of their decision-making process.

Looking Ahead

BUILD has secured five years of additional funding from Realdania, a Danish philanthropic association with almost 175,000 members. The funding will secure future maintenance of the webpage, increase public awareness, and serve as the basis for future analyses about quality of life following the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, BUILD has secured funding from Splunk to further support their work.

Download the report