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Urban Economics and Planning


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA Urban Studies.


The purpose of this course is to teach some fundamentals of economics as it pertains to the urban milieu. The course begins with a few weeks’ introduction to the institutional and physical components of the modern urban economy, and then goes on to discuss some of the key topics in urban economics and urban economic planning, that is to say, theory of how firms are structured and organized, the role played by physical nodes and networks (‘central place theory’), labour markets, and the movement of goods and capital across urban borders; the course finishes with a more topic-specific look at the economics of urban planning, transportation, housing, education, and other urban issues.

Course objectives

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

  • A general orientation of the topic of urban economics, as it relates to other fields of urban studies

  • A fundamental understanding of some basic theories and problems in economics, particularly as they relate ot the urban milieu

  • Students will then be expected to apply their knowledge gained from the textbook and via their own secondary research, to craft an essay and participate in class dicsussions.

  • In the process, students will be expected to uphold standard scientific mentality and develop more familiarity with the scientific method as it applies to this field

  • Writing skills, and verbal communication skills, will be improved via the paper and class discussion.

  • Workgroups will expose students to pertinent scholarly secondary literature, with the aim of improving reading, comprehension, and critical reading skills of semi-technical literature.


The timetable is available on the BA Urban Studies website

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), equal to 140 hours, devoted to:

  • Lectures: 26

  • Preparation for lectures: 26

  • Literature: 46

  • Essay(s) and presentation(s): 26

  • Preparation for exam: 12

  • Exam: 4

Assessment method

Assessment and weighing

  • Mid-term (30%)

  • Final (40%)

  • Essay (20%)

  • One or more oral presentations, or mini essays (10%)


The resit exam will take place on a single resit, at which both subtests are offered. For this resit exam three hours will be reserved, so that students will be able to retake both subtests, if necessary.

Exam review

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 organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • The time schedule of the course

  • The reading list

  • Powerpoints of the lectures

  • Announcements

  • All other information regarding the course

Reading list

Required: Arthur O’Sullivan, Urban Economics, 8th Edition

Additional Reading:

  • Nancy Brooks, Kieran Donaghy, and Gerrit‐Jan Knaap (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Urban Economics and Planning

In addition, some articles will be assigned for workgroups.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr. J. Fynn-Paul


No remarks.