GY447      Half Unit
The Economics of Regional and Urban Planning

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Felipe Carozzi S416


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, MBA Exchange, MPhil/PhD in Economic Geography, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research), MSc in Local Economic Development and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The number of students that can be accommodated is limited. If the course is over-subscribed, places will be allocated at the Department’s discretion and a waiting list may be created. For further details, please contact your relevant Programme Coordinator


Students should normally have completed an introductory course in economics. Students without this background may wish to attend the micro-economic section of EC100 Economics A together with the Pre-sessional GY447 and GY447.1 workshops.

Course content

The course aims to provide an economic framework in which to analyse the structure of economic activity within the urban and regional context; the impact of this structure on urban form; the role of government at the local level and local economic policy applications. Topics include: The determinants of industrial, commercial and residential location. The interaction between activities within a spatial context. The economics of land markets and of the development process. The determinants of rents and densities. Economic models of urban structure. Sources of market failure in the urban economy. The rationale of government intervention. Techniques of intervention in the urban and environmental context. The role of the public sector: pricing, allocation, production and investment decisions. Urban and regional economic policy issues.


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.

This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures across Michaelmas Term only. 

The course will also feature a pre-sessional element in week 0 of Michaelmas Term and a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.


Formative coursework

A take home formative exam will be carried out during Lent Term.

Indicative reading

1) A O'Sullivan Urban Economics;

2) J F McDonald and Daniel P. McMillen, Urban Economics and Real Estate;

3) J Stiglitz, Economics of the Public Sector;

4) Pindyck & Rubinfeld Microeconomics, Suslow & Hamilton Study Guide.

5) J Brueckner, Lectures in Urban Economics

5) D DiPasquale & W C Wheaton, Urban Economics and Real Estate Markets;

6) R W Vickerman, Urban Economics;

8) H Dunkerley (Ed), Urban Land Policy: Issues and Opportunities;

More detailed readings will be provided during the course.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 10.7
Merit 60.2
Pass 27.2
Fail 1.9

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2020/21: 39

Average class size 2020/21: 20

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving