Programme PGP Term VI Academic Year 2021-22

Course title Urban Economy and Business Environment Area Public Systems Group Credits 1.00

Prof. Chinmay Tumbe,
Prof. Sandip Chakrabarti

Course Description & Objectives

Many developing countries, including India, have experienced unprecedented urban growth in recent decades and this trend is expected to continue into the future. The role of cities as “engines of economic growth” is now well established. This course examines the evolving role of cities as centers of production and consumption, and the manner in which businesses can contribute to the growth of the local economy as well as benefit from the opportunities that a city offers. 

A key objective of the course is to provide basic understanding of macro- and microeconomic frameworks for understanding the forces determining the locations, internal organizations, evolution/growth and functioning of cities. Urban economic analysis helps explore how these concepts could be applied in formulating urban policies and local economic development strategies, and in shaping business decisions of firms. 

The course is divided into four parts. The first part (Existence and Evolution of Cities) deals with global urbanization trends, the urban development and growth connection, theories of location, agglomeration economies, and urban spatial structure and land use. In the second part (Urban Development and Transportation), we discuss suburbanization and sprawl, land use and transportation relationships, the transportation and economic development link, the high-speed rail and growth link, urban freight, and creative cities. The third part (Housing, Social and Governance Issues) deals with the peculiarities of the housing and real estate markets, the world of slums, urban identities and governance issues. The last part (Environment, Society, and Technology) covers topics such as water and sanitation, urban crime, neighborhood quality impacts on urban outcomes, and the influence of information and communications technologies on cities. Case studies based on international experiences are used to examine policies and strategies for addressing urban issues. Concepts of spatial analysis (GIS) are discussed. Ways to analyze urban problems using GIS tools are introduced using examples and a group exercise. 

  1. To understand the evolution, growth, and functioning of cities
  2. To analyze impacts of urban development and public policies on firms
  3. To learn geospatial data collection, processing and analysis methods using QGIS
  4. To explore housing, transportation, environmental and public health issues
  5. To find ways to improve urban productivity and livability

The course will have 20 classroom sessions of 75 minutes each. Multiple pedagogical tools such as lectures, group exercises, presentations, and case-based discussions will be used. Students will get introduced to spatial analysis methods. The course includes a group project and a final exam. Students should complete the required readings before class, and be prepared to initiate discussions of the main issues.