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BSc Environmental Management with Professional Placement / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Introduction to Urban and Environmental Economics

Unit code PLAN10352
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Planning and Environmental Management
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

The course provides an introduction to urban and environmental economics, which does not require an in-depth prior understanding of economics. Fundamental knowledge of environmental and urban economics is attained through the examination of key economic concepts and tools, using examples of environmental and land use policies, different types of market failures, and environmental valuation. The students gain understanding of consumer and firm behaviour by looking at a range of market structures, supply and demand issues, location and land use effects, and analysing policy responses to some of the major environmental issues of our time.

 

Aims

  • To provide the key economic concepts and tools for analysing environmental and urban issues
  • To introduce and explain the application of economic methods to the analysis of the built and natural environments.
  • To make clear the ways in which sound economic analysis is critical to urban and environmental policy making.
  • To encourage critical debate and reflection on the key environmental and urban policy issues.
  • The latest economic thinking and research is presented for a range of topical issues
    • Climate Change and Environmental Agreements
    • Ecosystem service valuation
    • Property market cycles and the recent crisis.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course unit, the students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a good understanding of key economic ideas and tools.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the economic reasoning and theory used to analyse issues in the built and natural environment.
  • Demonstrate sound understanding of the economic characteristics of land and environmental regulation.
  • Apply skills in complex problem solving, in analysing and evaluating information and data.
  • Devise frameworks of evaluating the socio-economic and environmental impact of projects and policies.

Syllabus

WEEK

OUTLINE OF CONTENT

1

Introduction to the module: Key economic concepts

2

Demand, Supply & Elasticities

3

Consumer and firm behaviour, and perfect competition

4

Introduction to welfare economics and cost-benefit analysis

5

Overview of Non-market Valuation

6

Essay Clinic

7

Pollution control, environmental taxes, and climate change

8

Principles of Land and Urban Economics

9

No lecture

10

Zoning, externalities, and dwelling densities in mono-centric and polycentric city models.

11

Macroeconomics and property cycles

12

Revision

 

Teaching and learning methods

 A series of lectures is used to introduce topics in a structured manner. Workshops and seminars are used to explore a particular issue in more depth and encourage critical debate. The lectures will be recorded and available as podcasts through Blackboard. Please remember that podcasting only captures the voice and slides and not any explanations and diagrams provided on whiteboards.

Course material will be available online through Blackboard. The students are expected to prepare for seminars and to read the suggested reports and papers, research any assigned tasks and consider questions in advance.  The students are also expected to take a lead in discussions. Workshops are designed to allow the student to work through problems, individually or in groups, with guidance provided by tutors.

 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate a good understanding of key economic ideas and tools.
  • Demonstrate sound understanding of the economic characteristics of land and environmental regulation.

Intellectual skills

Demonstrate familiarity with the economic reasoning and theory used to analyse issues in the built and natural environment.

Practical skills

  • Devise frameworks of evaluating the socio-economic and environmental impact of projects and policies.
  • Apply skills in complex problem solving, in analysing and evaluating information and data.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

This course unit will enable the students to:

  • Critically analyse and evaluate information, make considered judgements and produce innovative and credible solutions to problems.
  • Demonstrate numeracy skills through appreciation of issues around selection, accuracy, uncertainty and approximation with numbers.
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate ideas and arguments effectively, using a variety of media, to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Demonstrate high levels of skill in team-working and project management.

 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 60%
Written assignment (inc essay) 40%

Feedback methods

STUDY SUPPORT & FEEDBACK

As one progresses through the course unit, formative feedback will be given through Q&A, discussion and interactive activities during lectures, workshops and seminars. Verbal feedback is available on coursework discussed during consultation hours. Substantive written feedback on assignments will be provided through Blackboard.

We will be running drop-in consultations in support of the assignment, as shown in the timetable above. Tutors are also available to discuss specific issues in relation to the course at the weekly sessions or by e-mail appointment.

Please have a look at the Learning Resources file in the Blackboard for information and help in academic writing, advice on plagiarism and referencing. Advice on the use of turn-it-in can be found in: http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=13010

Recommended reading

This reading list is not exhaustive but indicates work that will support you on this course. Specific readings and further material will be provided at relevant times during the course.

Introduction to economics

Begg DKH, Fischer S, Dornbusch R. (2015) Foundations of Economics, 5th Ed., McGraw Hill.

Lipsey, R. G. and Chrystal, A. (1995) An introduction to positive economics, 8th Ed., Oxford University Press.

Urban and Environmental Economics

Hanley, N., Shogren, J. F. and White, B. (2001) Introduction to environmental economics. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

McDonald, John F. and Daniel P. McMillen, 2011. Urban economics and real estate: theory and policy. John Wiley & Sons, London, UK

McCann, P. (2001) Urban and regional economics.  Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
eAssessment 33
Lectures 22
Practical classes & workshops 8
Supervised time in studio/wksp 3
Independent study hours
Independent study 134

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sotirios Thanos Unit coordinator

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