GY447      Half Unit
The Economics of Regional and Urban Planning

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Felipe Carozzi CKK.4.27


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 Management (LSE and Sciences Po), 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 or attend the pre-sessional GY447 sessions and classes to obtain a minimal familiarity with the content.

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 Autumn Term only. 

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


Formative coursework

A 1 hour, in person formative exam will be carried out during Winter Term.

Indicative reading

1) A O'Sullivan Urban Economics;

2) J Brueckner, Lectures in Urban Economics

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

4) J Stiglitz, Economics of the Public Sector;

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

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

More detailed readings will be provided during the course.


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

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 15.8
Merit 66.7
Pass 16.7
Fail 0.9

Key facts

Department: Geography and Environment

Total students 2022/23: 39

Average class size 2022/23: 20

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving