Course Objectives and Outcomes
This course introduces students to the theories, analytic frameworks and financial tools used to encourage local economic development 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.
The goal of this course is to ensure that students gain a basic understanding of the economic issues effecting communities. The course is organized around the basic themes of urban economics and focuses on the allocation of scarce resources and the global competition for private investment. Students should leave with a clear understanding of locational and investment decisions, private sector market forces and public policies that can shape local economic systems.
Successful completion of the course should prepare students with an appreciation of the critical components of sustainable economic growth, the factors that contribute to economic prosperity, and approaches being undertaken by communities to foster economic opportunity for all.
Topics Covered by Session
Week 1 – Urban Economics Issues and Analysis
Session 1 – Introduction to Urban Economics and Market Forces in Urbanization
Session 2 – Theory, Principal and Practice of Economic Development Planning
Session 3 – Federal & State Perspectives and Economic Development Resources
Session 4 – Decline, Fall & Rise of America’s Older Industrial Cities
Session 5 – Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development Strategies
Session 6 – Business Development vs. Workforce Development
Session 7 – Midterm Exam
Session 8 – Introduction to Real Estate Law and Development Finance
Session 9 – Reuse and Redevelopment of Underutilized Property
Session 10 – Local Perceptions of Economic Development
Session 11 – Local Perceptions of Economic Development
Session 12 – Oral Presentations
Attendance and Class Participation: Because of the volume and complexity of the material to be covered, students are expected to attend all class sessions, complete all of the assigned readings prior to each session, and to fully participate in class discussions.
Weekly Reading Reflections: Students are expected to submit a 2-page paper that reflects upon the week’s readings. This should not be a summary of the reading material, but rather a reflection on the main issues and themes that the student took away from the readings, the commonalities or contradictions between the articles, the relationship between the week’s readings and other readings completed for the class, and the student’s reactions and opinions about the articles/excerpts.
Midterm Exam: A two hour open resource written exam covering the material presented, read and discussed during the first half of the semester.
Final Exam: A two hour open resource written exam covering the material presented, read and discussed throughout the semester.
Research Report: A 20-25 page analytical case study of a local economic development issue or strategy that based on the principles presented in class, obtained from the readings and specific to a U.S. city and its metropolitan region chosen by the student.