Urban Economics and Development



Maria A. Belova, PhD
Visiting lecturer



45 contact hours



Goals and objectives:

The purpose of this course is getting familiar with the historic and actual trends in the development of the cities, analyzing the economics behind the urban systems and phenomena as well as understanding of the major challenges faced by the local governments and communities. Thorough examination of the theoretical background for the major topics of the urban economics and development will be accompanied by reviews of the available statistical data and observations as well as the work on the real life case studies featuring examples of the urban life in the industrial and developing countries. The course begins with the introduction on the nature of the cities and urban economics tasks. Throughout the course, students will learn about the drivers and trends of the urban growth, about urban structure and models, social issues in the cities, challenges of the transportation and real estate management, municipal services and public policy. The course ends with a discussion on the indicators and ratings, quality of life and the outlook.

Course Content:

Introduction. Urban economics: definition and the science.
Topic 1. Urban growth: main drivers and trends of the urbanization
Topic 2. Urban structure: main concepts and issues of the land use
Topic 3. People: cities and their inhabitants
Topic 4. Transportation: major challenges and solutions
Topic 5. Real estate: specific features and recent developments
Topic 6. Infrastructure: what keeps a city going
Topic 7. Public policy and taxes: who pays what?
Topic 8. City of the future: what comes next?

Teaching Methods:

Lectures and Seminars, Problem solving

Course Reading:

There is no single required book for this course. Students will be provided with country/industry/problem-oriented case studies and basic texts for studying theoretical framework and practical public management issues for their further discussions during the classes. All texts are provided in the course pack “Reading” in Blackboard.
Supplementary reading

  • Jan K. Brueckner, Lectures on Urban Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011
  • Arthur O’Sullivan, Urban Economics, McGraw-Hill, 2012

Exam format:

The final examination will take place in open book format – students will be provided with essay questions designed to reveal knowledge and correct understanding of general concepts, models and analytical instruments presented and discussed in the course.

Grading Policy (% or points):

Tests                                    15%
Group work and presentations     15%
Group project                          20%
Final test                               50%

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