Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Economics of Urbanization

when 22 July 2024 - 26 July 2024
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 995

Over half the world's population now live in cities and, within a few decades, the population of urban areas will exceed the entire global population today. Ongoing urbanization presents opportunities and challenges that are of interest to policy makers and researchers.

In this course, you will learn about the economic forces that underpin urbanization and shape cities. Along the way, you will be equipped with knowledge and skills that help answer questions such as: Why are firms and people moving to cities? How do we measure the performance of cities? What factors explain why some cities thrive, while others struggle? What can policy makers do to improve the economic, social, and environmental performance of cities? To gain insight into these questions, students will participate in lectures, self-directed work, and field visits.

Amsterdam provides a unique base to learn about cities. From humble beginnings as a bridge over the river Amstel, Amsterdam rose to prominence during the 17th century as a center of international trade. Today, Amsterdam forms part of a large, prosperous, and inter-connected metropolitan region that sits at the heart of Europe. The course is delivered by the Department of Spatial Economics at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, whose 60 staff are actively engaged in multi-disciplinary academic research and policy development.

Course leader

Henri L. F. de Groot

Target group

We welcome students from a wide variety of disciplines, including but not limited to: Economics, geography, political science, engineering, mathematics, data science, business, operations research, policy, planning, and psychology.

Course aim

By the end of this course, students will:
1. Obtain a solid understanding of the economic mechanisms that drive urbanization, determine why some cities are more successful than others,
2. Gain insight into the policy challenges that metropolitan areas face and the pros and cons of the instruments that can be used to tackle these challenges.
3. Develop experience in conducting and presenting applied research, including valuation methodologies used in benefit-cost analysis.

Credits info

2 EC
25 hours

Fee info

EUR 995: Tuition fees one-week course

VU Students/PhD candidates and employees of VU Amsterdam* or an Aurora Network Partner €525
Students at Partner Universities of VU Amsterdam €680
Students and PhD candidates at non-partner universities of VU Amsterdam €785
Professionals €995

Early Bird offer
Applications received before 15 March (14 March CET 23:59) receive €50 Early Bird discount!


VU Amsterdam Summer School offers two kinds of scholarships: the Equal Access Scholarship and the Photographer Scholarship. More information can be found on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.