The Economics of Urbanization

Challenges and Opportunities
Half the world's population now lives in cities, and in a few decades from now the world urban population will be larger than the entire global population today. This wave of urbanization affects an unprecedented number of people. It brings great opportunities, but also raises important societal and policy challenges.
Course levelAdvanced Bachelor
Session 130 June to 14 July 2018
Recommended course combinationSession 2: The Heart of Capitalism: Amsterdam 1600-Present
Session 3: Impact of An Empire
Co-ordinating lecturerDr. Mark Lijesen
Other lecturersDr. Peter Mulder
Form(s) of tuitionLectures
Form(s) of assessmentShort paper and presentation
ECTS  3 credits
Contact hours45
Tuition fee€1000
Students and professionals in the field of Economics, Econometrics and Economic Geography. If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please let us know. Our courses are multi-disciplinary and therefore are open to students and professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds.

The course will lead you through the economic forces that drive urbanization and shape metropolitan areas, and will thus equip you with knowledge and skills that help answering questions such as: Why are some cities thriving, while others struggle? What types of firms and people want to cluster in space, and why? What does economic theory teach us about policy challenges that metropolitan areas face, such as crime, segregation, traffic congestion and environmental pollution? 

The course combines lectures with field work and excursions in and around Amsterdam. One of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, capital of one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and an international economic and trade center ever since the 17th century.

At the end of this course, you:

  • Gain a solid understanding of the economic mechanisms which drive urbanization, as well as those determining why some cities are successful and some are not.
  • Gain a clear understanding of the policy challenges facing metropolitan areas (eg. crime, congestion, pollution) and the pros and cons of the instruments available to tackle them.
Amsterdam: a modern city on an historic site. This excursion looks at how present-day economic activity fits in a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A visit to the port of Amsterdam.
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