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,
Sem 1 2021

Course Coordinator: Dr Anthony Kent

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9213

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 and investigate how economics is being used as a tool to make governance decisions about our urban and natural environments.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

In course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Determine and apply the specialist knowledge and technical skills required to develop creative solutions to a range of complex problems that currently confront our built and natural environments. 
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on complex theories and recent developments in urban planning and environmental management, both local and international, to extend and challenge knowledge and your scholarly and professional practice. 
  • Use a wide range of research tools, methods and strategies to generate new knowledge and inform decision-making in urban planning and environmental management. 
  • Critically analyse and reflect on the interplay of economic, political, social, cultural and ecological factors in urban planning and environmental management and apply to your scholarly and professional practice. 

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. analyse the historical economic context to explain how urban and environmental planning decisions are now being made;
  2. identify and review key economic concepts that underpin the activities of professionals working in the urban property market and environmental management field;
  3. analyse how economic costs impinge upon the decision-making processes of different market agents and how this translates into project viability;
  4. evaluate the decisions of urban planners and environmental managers using a series of economic tools;
  5. review how economics shaped a number of contemporary examples of urban planning and environmental development 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 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 which may include books, journal articles and web resources. 

You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning. 

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

Assessment Tasks: 

       1. Reading, Discussion and Presentation Task (10%) (Linked to CLO 1 and 2) 

       2. Understanding Urban Economics Issues Task (20%) (Linked to CLO 1 and 2) 

       3. Analysing Economic Change Task (25%) (Linked to CLO 3 and 4) 

       4. Spatial Analysis Task (45%) (Linked to CLO 3, 4 and 5)

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 manager or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions