Urban Economic Concepts for Real Economic Development

The course begins with a thorough review of the principles of urban economics and the economic issues effecting cities and their regions.  It introduces students to the theories, analytic frameworks and financial tools used to encourage local economic growth and opportunity in the U.S.  Students investigate the key debates in the field and examine the different roles that practitioners play in the economic development process.
It is organized around the basic themes of urban economics.  It focuses on the allocation of resources across metropolitan areas, locational and investment decisions, market forces and government policies that can shape cities, as well as cities themselves as centers of economic activity.  Students should gain a clear understanding of locational and investment decisions, private sector market forces and public policies that can shape local economic systems.

This is not a course in microeconomics or economic theory, but a course for urban planners, public practitioners, community economic developers and students pursuing studies in other social science and/or engineering and/or public administration fields that touch upon the city, the metropolitan region and urban economic change.

Successful completion of the course should leave students with an appreciation for the economic issues facing cities, the critical components of sustainable economic growth, the factors that comprise the optimum community, and approaches being undertaken by some communities to grow community wealth.

Session 1:   Introduction to Urban Economics & the Market Forces of Urbanization
Session 2:   Land Use, Housing, Transportation and Real Estate Economics
Session 3:   Economic Consequences of Suburbanization
Session 4:   Decline, Fall & Rise of America’s Older Industrial Cities
Session 5: Poverty, Blight & Disinvestment
Session 6:   Government Programs and Public Finance
Session 7:   Labor Markets and Workforce Development vs. Business Development
Session 8: Theory, Principals and Practice of Economic Development Planning
Session 9: Reuse and Redevelopment of Underutilized Property
Session 10: Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development Strategies
Session 11: Community Based Reinvestment for Sustainable Economic Growth
Session 12: The Economic Development Experience in the Boston Metro Area
Session 13: Student Presentations