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Urban Economics and Planning


Admission requirements

This course is available for students in the BA Urban Studies programme and to a limited amount of external students.


This course provides students with foundational Urban Studies knowledge regarding the modern history of cities, their development and planning. We look at multiple urban case studies from 19th century industrial cities, the great planning experiments of the 20th century, to today’s global megalopolises. The course provides students with an essential grounding in the modern development of cities and of global urbanization processes – what forces drive the development of cities, and how do urban planners seek to manage these forces and reshape cities?

Course objectives

Via the medium of exams, a tutorial assignment and class participation, students are expected to develop the following skills:

  • Possess a working knowledge of some foundational urban case studies – both historical and contemporary

  • Possess an understanding of the historical and economic forces that shape the development of modern cities across multiple contexts

  • Possess an understanding of the historical development and practice of urban planning across multiple contexts

  • Ability to offer written responses in scholarly format on these themes

  • Ability to participate in group discussion of these themes

  • Ability to design and lead a group discussion of these themes


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Tutorial (compulsory attendance)
    This means that students have to attend every session of the course. If a student is unable to attend a tutorial or lecture, they should inform the lecturer in advance, providing a valid reason for absence. The teacher will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment. If they are absent from a tutorial without a valid reason, they can be excluded from the final exam in the course.

Assessment method


  • Midterm exam
    Written examination with essay questions

  • Final exam
    Written examination with essay questions

  • Tutorial grade
    Based on a Tutorial Assignment plus Participation.


Partial grade Weighing
Tutorial grade 20%
Midterm Exam 40%
Final Exam 40%

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of all assessment components.

  • The weighted average of the Midterm Exam grade and the Final Exam grade needs to be 5.50 or higher.

  • This means that failing exam grades cannot be compensated with a high tutorial grade.


If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or if (one or two of) the exam grades are lower than 5.50, there is a possibility of retaking the written examination material, replacing the previous exam grade(s). No resit for the tutorial grade is possible.

Faculty regulations concerning participation in resits are listed in article 4.1 of the Faculty Course and Examination Regulations.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organised.

Reading list

  • Clark, Peter. The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

  • Hall, Peter. Cities of Tomorrow : an Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design in the Twentieth Century. Updated ed. Oxford [etc.]: Blackwell, 1996.

  • King, Anthony Douglas. Colonial Urban Development : Culture, Social Power and Environment. London [etc.]: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1976.

  • Jerram, Leif. Streetlife. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011

  • LeGates, Stout, LeGates, Richard T., and Stout, Frederic. The City Reader. Seventh edition., 2020.

  • Wakeman, Rosemary. Practicing Utopia : An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement, 2016.

  • Wakeman, Rosemary. A Modern History of European Cities : 1815 to the Present, 2020.

  • Max Welch Guerra, Abdellah Abarkan, Martin Pekár, and María A. Castrillo Romón. European Planning History in the 20th Century. Taylor and Francis, 2022.

  • Wu, Xu, Yeh, Xu, Jiang, and Yeh, Anthony Gar-On. Urban Development in Post-Reform China : State, Market and Space. London [etc.]: Routledge, 2007

  • This is an indicative list of general texts. More specific readings will be assigned before each class.


General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.

Registration Exchange

For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Student Affairs Office for BA Urban Studies


All other information.