The Economics of Vibrant Cities

Investigate societal challenges caused by urbanization
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
Recommended course combinationBlock 2: Big Ideas in Computer Science, Data Analysis in R, New Venture Creation and Entrepreneurship
Block 3: Big Data Management and Analysis in UNIX, Feeding the Billions: Challenges and Innovations in Food and Water Security, Governing Climate Change: Theory and Praxis
Block 1
8 to 22 July 2017
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 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 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.

  • 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.
  • You 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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