AD2865 Introduction to Urban Economics 7.5 credits

Introduktionskurs i urbanekonomi

The overall aim of the course is to give an overview of how economic principles and forces are interrelated with urban development and urban life, with a particular focus on social and cultural aspects. Students are provided with a broad knowledge on how economic factors influence, and are influenced by, the design, use and experience of the built environment. On completion of the course the student should understand the principles for neoclassical economy and be able to explain, by use of independent examples, what a cultural economical perspective entails; be able to apply central concepts (such as gentrification, place marketing, symbolic capital, creative destruction etc.) to concrete cases of urban transformation; be able to analyse conceptual distinctions (such as production/consumption, formal/informal, industrial/post-industrial, material/immaterial economic factors) and discuss their significance when applied to empirical cases; be able to partake in and make contributions to a critical discussion on how a market-driven urban development influences professional roles in urban design, architecture and planning. The aims of the course may be fulfilled either orally (at seminars or group exercises) or in writing (individual assignments and paper) but for attaining a higher grade (A-B) students are required to do both.

  • Education cycle

    Second cycle
  • Main field of study

    Architecture
  • Grading scale

    A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Course offerings

Spring 19 for programme students

Spring 20 for programme students

Intended learning outcomes

The overall aim of the course is to give an overview of how economic principles and forces are interrelated with urban development and urban life, with a particular focus on social and cultural aspects. Students are provided with a broad knowledge on how economic factors influence, and are influenced by, the design, use and experience of the built environment. On completion of the course the student should understand the principles for neoclassical economy and be able to explain, by use of independent examples, what a cultural economical perspective entails; be able to apply central concepts (such as gentrification, place marketing, symbolic capital, creative destruction etc.) to concrete cases of urban transformation; be able to analyse conceptual distinctions (such as production/consumption, formal/informal, industrial/post-industrial, material/immaterial economic factors) and discuss their significance when applied to empirical cases; be able to partake in and make contributions to a critical discussion on how a market-driven urban development influences professional roles in urban design, architecture and planning. The aims of the course may be fulfilled either orally (at seminars or group exercises) or in writing (individual assignments and paper) but for attaining a higher grade (A-B) students are required to do both.

Course main content

The course adopts a cultural perspective, drawing on architecture and urban theory, sociology and cultural geography, to interrogate economics as socially embedded. Spanning from a material basis (involving land use and ownership, localization of production, clustering effects, distribution of products and resources, property investments etc.) to a ‘dematerialized’ and post-industrial economy of services, lifestyles and experiences, the course offers a comprehensive introduction to urban economics as an umbrella term for a heterogenous field of studies.

The course centres on the following themes:

• Basic theory of economics and economic history

• Global capitalism and world cities

• Industrial and post-industrial cities

• Gentrification, housing markets and neoliberal urbanization

• Definitions of formal and informal land use and economic exchange

• Commerce, tourism and the creative industries 

Disposition

Structured on lectures and literature seminars, the progression of the course is based on close readings, open discussions and a high level of student participation. Students are expected to work both in groups and individually during scheduled course hours. Lectures and readings combine in serving as introductions to the central topics but are also used as means to expand on critical issues by adding complexity and nuance e.g. by relating to case studies and varying examples of professional practice. The course thus gives students access to a rich source of literature and current debates in order to encourage further independent studies.

Eligibility

For students within the TUPDM program:

For external students:

• A completed Bachelor Degree in Planning, Architecture, Engineering or Social Science. The previous study should comprise at least 30 ECTS in the field of urban design, urban, transport or regional planning, national/regional economics, geoinformatics or environmental sciences.

• Documented proficiency in English B or equivalent.

Literature

To be announced at course start.

Examination

  • MOM1 - Literature Seminars, 3.0, grading scale: P, F
  • MOM2 - Research Project (Group Exercise), 1.5, grading scale: P, F
  • MOM3 - Home Examination or Paper, 3.0, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Requirements for final grade

Students need to fulfil the following requirements in order to receive a pass (E):

• participation in seminars including hand-in of written reflection (3 cr.)    

• participation in group exercise (1,5 cr)

• home examination or individual paper (3 cr.) 

Assessment and grading (A–F) takes into account both written and oral achievements throughout the course on a holistic basis. The academic quality of the home examination or paper influences grading to 70%, but the student's efforts and ambitions to tackle a perhaps difficult subject matter is taken into full consideration. Grading is consistent with the criteria set by Biggs, J (2003) Teaching for Quality Learning at University. Second Edition (The Open Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press, p 193).

Offered by

ABE/Architecture

Contact

Helen Runting (helen.runting@arch.kth.se)

Examiner

Helen Runting <helen.runting@arch.kth.se>

Version

Course syllabus valid from: Spring 2014.
Examination information valid from: Spring 2014.