Christopher Klemek traces the political and intellectual shifts affecting urban policy and city life. His current research, comparing Washington and Paris, can be found in the most recent issue of the journal, Washington History, and the collection, Capital Dilemma: Growth and Inequality in Washington. His first book, The Transatlantic Collapse of Urban Renewal: Postwar Urbanism from New York to Berlin (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), compares the fate of older industrial cities in Europe and North America, including Berlin, London, Toronto, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. That publication won the biennial Davidoff book prize from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning as well as the Kostof Book Award of the Society of Architectural Historians. He has been named a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Schwartz Fellow at the New-York Historical Society. Klemek also takes an active interest in public history and has developed an online community history project, DigitalDC, showcasing undergraduate research from Washingtoniana archives. In 2007, he co-curated a New York Municipal Art Society exhibition on Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, which the American Planning Association's New York Metro Chapter recognized with its William H. Whyte Award for a "project that is distinguished by creativity in the field." In 1997, he co-founded Poor Richard's Walking Tours, a Philadelphia-based public history enterprise, and has since been featured as a guide to cities on radio, television, and in print media.
Klemek has received repeated recognition for pedagogy, including the George Washington University's 2016 Trachtenberg Prize for Teaching Excellence—an award nominated by undergraduates, endorsed by departmental colleagues, and chosen by a faculty/student committee on the basis of "outstanding undergraduate teaching"—as well as the 2016 WID Distinguished Teaching Award for his "innovative engagement of students as writers of cutting-edge digital and public history."