Course Title: Urban Economics and Spatial Development

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Urban Economics and Spatial Development

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Anthony Kent

Course Coordinator Phone: 52302

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, level 11

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Increasingly, governments in recent decades have been pre-occupied with the well-being of their economies, as they struggle to either maintain or restore levels of economic prosperity. In this course you will explore how urban planners and environmental managers have been increasingly required to employ economics and a select number of economic tools to assess the potential impact of planning and environmental management decisions upon a city and its broader regional economy. You will explore this facet of spatial public policy analysis, as well as investigate how economics is being used as a tool to make governance decisions about our urban and natural environments.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • analyse the historical economic context to explain how urban and environmental planning decisions are now being made;
  • identify and review key economic concepts that underpin the activities of professionals working in the urban property market and environmental management field;
  • analyse how economic costs impinge upon the decision-making processes of different market agents and how this translates into project viability;
  • evaluate the decisions of urban planners and environmental managers using a series of economic tools;
  • review how economics shaped a number of contemporary examples of urban planning and environmental development in Victoria and elsewhere in Australia;

Program Learning Outcomes

  • critically reflect on the key arguments and economic concepts that come to underpin the activities of professionals working in the urban planning and environmental management fields;
  • establish how economics and a range of economic tools are used to evaluate the decisions of urban planners and environmental managers;
  • critically explore how economic decisions shaped a number of contemporary examples in Victoria and elsewhere in Australia;

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities have been designed to enable you to demonstrate the key concepts and arguments that underpin spatial decision making in an economic context. You will consolidate this knowledge and understanding through a series of case studies that cater for your urban planning and environmental management interests.
You will be engaged in learning involving a range of activities that may include face-to-face or online lectures and tutorials, group and class discussion, group activities and individual research.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.
A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources.
You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment may include reports, projects and presentations, individually and in groups. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. You will be able to develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in your professional practice.
Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

  • If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
  • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: