Economic assessment of Urban 
Transformation

Course unit code

Б.3.ДВ2

Type of course unit (compulsory, optional)

Optional

Level of course unit (e.g. first, second or third cycle; sub-level if applicable)

Third level

Year of study (if applicable)

4

Semester/trimester when the course unit is delivered

Semester 8

Number of ECTS credits allocated

3

Name of lecturer(s)

Ass. prof. Alexey Lukin

Course objectives

  1. To provide an analytical framework for projects evaluation with an emphasis on publicly funded projects such as transportation, urban infrastructure, urban regeneration (renovation) or environmental projects.
  2. To equip students with appropriate tools of analysis of economic assessment of urban transformation to tackle issues and problems of urban economy policy.
  3. To develop in students, through the study of economic assessment of urban transformation, a range of generic skills that will be of value in employment and self-employment
  4. To provide students with analytical skills and an ability to develop simplifying frameworks for studying the real world. They should be able to appreciate what would be appropriate levels of abstraction in order to study a range of economic issues
  5. To provide students with the knowledge and skills for the evaluation of benefits and costs over time, including in the presence of uncertainty, in the absence of market prices, and when income distribution objectives need to be incorporated into a project's evaluation.

Learning outcomes

It is assumed that at the end of this course student has to answer for the following questions:

  • which is the logic governing the structure and evolution of land values in the city?
  • which techniques may help assessing the social value and the private profitability of big projects of urban transformation?

During course students will acquire the following skills and knowledge:

  • Abstraction. From the study of economic principles and models, students will see how one can abstract the essential features of complex urban systems and provide a useable framework for evaluation of urban transformation. Through this, the typical student will acquire proficiency in how to simplify while still retaining relevance.
  • Analysis, deduction and induction. Economic reasoning is highly deductive, and logical analysis is applied to assumption-based models. However, inductive reasoning is also important. The development of such analytical skills enhances students' problem-solving and decision-making ability.
  • Framing. Through the study of Economical assessment of urban transformation students will learn how to decide what should be taken as given or fixed for the purposes of setting up and solving a problem, what the important 'parameters' are in constraining the solution to the problem.
  • Students will become familiar with a European contemporary practice of economical assessment of urban transformation (the economical assessment of different infrastructure projects, environmental and social projects).
  • Student can use the finding knowledge during diploma writing (the economical part).

Mode of delivery

Course will be organised as face-to-face (professor – group of students) lectures and tutorials. The distance learning is possible to use during the course, (e.g. Scype)

The participation of business community is planned. In the period ahead it will be possible to invite the successful project managers (from regional economical department, local authorities), the scientists and practitioner experts in urban transformation and urban planning.

During course students will be encouraged to explore and analyse information and consider urban policy implications. Students will be assisted to learn actively and in depth and to develop problem-solving skills and higher-order skills of reasoning and analysis in a structured and supportive environment

Prerequisites and co-requisites

To participate in the course it is advisable to have a basic knowledge of micro-macro economics, basic approach of land valuation, and understanding of investment analysis (at least discounting).

Recommended optional programme components

  1. Cost-Benefit Analysis.
  2. Hedonic prices, contingency evaluation, conjoint analysis.
  3. Territorial Impact Assessment. Territorial cohesion.
  4. Multi criteria techniques.

The course partially contents the results of scientific researches which are carried out at the Building technology department of Institute of Architecture and Construction of NARFU. Interested students can be involved in scientific research after successful passing this course.

Course contents

The course deals with the evaluation methodologies of urban transformations. The mission is to explain students the logic governing the structure and evolution of land values in the city; the techniques that may help assessing the social value and the private profitability of big projects of urban transformation.

The main goal is to introduce the student to the different existing logics and approaches, applied to a variety of empirical case studies. The theme of the nature and evolution of land rent in theoretical terms will have a central role.

The course embraces three main parts. There are: basic aspects of urban economy theory (the nature and prerequisites for urban land formation; formation supply/demand equilibrium). The second part comprises the assessment methodology of urban transformation. In these part the basic practical approach for economical assessment of urban transformation will be given (Cost-Benefit Analysis; Multi criteria Analysis; Territorial Impact Assessment Analysis). The last set of lectures contents the practical aspects of economical assessment. In this part different case-studies from EU practice will be considered.

Reading

Required reading (the Course book)

  1. Boardman, et al. (2011). Cost-Benefit Analysis, concepts and practice. Pearson International Edition, 4th edition.[1]
  2. Guide to Cost benefit Analysis of Investment Projects. (Structural Funds, Cohesion Fund and Instrument for Pre-Accession), European Commission, July 2008. (available in electronic form)

Recommended reading (the optional books)

  1. J.E. Stiglitz, and C.E. Walsh (2002), Principles of Economics, 3rd Edition
  2. H.S. Rosen (2002), Public Finance,6th edition, McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
  3. Capello R. (2007), Regional Economics, Routledge, London
  4. Harvey J. - Jowsey E. (2004), Urban Land Economics, Editors: Palgrave Mcmillan, Basingstoke - Hampshire
  5. Multi-criteria analysis: a manual. January 2009Department for Communities and Local Government: London. (Available in electronic format)
  6. The Green Book: Appraisal and Evaluation in Central Government http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/data_greenbook_index.htm
  7. Impact Assessment Guidance . When to do an Impact Assessment, HM Government, august 2011, www.bis.gov.uk

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course consists from 15ex-cathedra lectures. The course will be presented by means of visual lectures (ppt). The lectures will be hand out to students beforehand. Each lecture contents basic information about studying theme and the list of essential literature.

The course comprises 8 interactive tutorials (seminars, workshops). Before tutorial student has to read all necessary materials and has to prepare some questions about discussing topic. During seminars the active student participation is welcome. Round work table with elements of brainstorming is prospected. The case-studies analysis is planned during course.

Assessment methods and criteria

To pass this course student has to attend none the less 90% of lectures.

The course assessment will get into account an active student’s participation during lectures and seminars. During seminars students has to be able keep up the conversation about discussing theme.

It is recommended that student be prepared for the interactive classes (seminars). Thereto student has to read all literature provided by professors before seminars. To be prepared for the active work during seminars student has to work out the questions list which could be possible to discuss during class.

During the course student has to collect a set of workable case-studies without professors’ assistance. The analysis of relevant case-study is encouraged.

At the end of the course student will prepare the final paper (the main research directions will be handout during course). Actually, student is free in theme of working paper. One indispensable condition is the research should be relevant to modern economical international practice. The paper should be around 3000 words, 12 pages maximum.

At the end of the course, students will be given an exam that will test students’ knowledge and understanding of key concepts taught and discussed in class. The exam will have the format of short “essay questions”, requiring answers of around 1 to 1.5 pages per question.

The final course assessment bases on the result of oral exam and takes into account all students activities during course including working paper.

Course grades will be computed based on the following formula

Tutorials

20%

Presentation (final paper)

30%

Final Exam

50%

In assessing students' final paper the following criteria will be taken into account:

  • How far have students focused on identified key problems?
  • How successfully have students used evidence?
  • How well have students collected, processed, analysed and interpreted relevant data?
  • How deep is the extent of critical evaluation?
  • How well have students demonstrated knowledge of relevant literature?

In assessing exam the following criteria will be taken into account:

  • How well have students chosen the arguments, the relevant theory or model, to relate to the area specified or question asked?
  • How good is the quality of explanation?
  • How well have students demonstrated consistency, coherence and purposeful analysis?

Exam date is…

Language of instruction

  • English is the official course language
  • All slides available in English
  • Bibliography available in English

“This syllabus can be changed at the discretion of the course instructor in order to meet the course objectives”



[1] For the reason that this book is absent in Russian market for the time being, it is possible to use the previous 3rd edition: A.E. Boardman, D.H. Greenberg, A.R. Vining, D.L. Weimer (2006), Cost-benefit Analysis Concept and Practice – Third Edition, Prentice Hall Publisher.