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Regional Economics

Code: 102839 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2501915 Environmental Sciences OT 4 0


Ivan Muņiz Olivera

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Must have basic knowledge of economics, statistics and English (reading).



Objectives and Contextualisation

This course has as main objective that students know the mechanisms that explain the creation of cities, their spatial structure, economic and environmental outcomes. Also, recent dynamics on population and employment dispersion.

The course is presented from a multidisciplinary perspective, where economic contents are combined with arguments from geography, urban planning, environmental sciences, and urban economics.

Another objective is that students learn critically review specialized academic papers, offering to students abroad and updated vision that allows them to apply for courses more advanced in any Spanish or foreign university.




  • Adequately convey information verbally, written and graphic, including the use of new communication and information technologies.
  • Analyze and use information critically.
  • Demonstrate adequate knowledge and use the tools and concepts of the most relevant social science environment.
  • Demonstrate concern for quality and praxis.
  • Demonstrate initiative and adapt to new situations and problems.
  • Teaming developing personal values regarding social skills and teamwork.
  • Work autonomously

Learning Outcomes

  1. Adequately convey information verbally, written and graphic, including the use of new communication and information technologies.
  2. Analyze and use information critically.
  3. Critically analyze basic environmental science literature in Catalan, Castilian and English.
  4. Demonstrate concern for quality and praxis.
  5. Demonstrate initiative and adapt to new situations and problems.
  6. Identify environmental and social impacts associated with human activity.
  7. Properly use the analytical concepts of environmental science.
  8. Teaming developing personal values regarding social skills and teamwork.
  9. Work autonomously


Block I. Urban form and spatial structure

1. Urban Planning: Main currents 1850-2010

Garden city, Functionalist city, Polycentrism and Regional Planning, Cellular Growth, Vertical City, Scattered City

2. The bid rent model

Cities and markets

The monocentric city: Why does land rent falls as the distance to the main center increase?


Block II. Urban Dynamics

3. Polycentrism

The emergence of city networks around the world

4. Urban Sprawl

The causes of urban sprawl. The measurement of urban sprawl.

Scattered growth in Spanish cities from 1998 to 2007

From the real state bubble to 2007 economic crisis


Block III. Urban form and sustainability

5. The two models of urban sustainability: The Compact City Approach and the Self-sufficient City Approach

6. Measures of sustainability and empirical evidence. GHG emissions, carbon footprint, ecological footprint.

The contribution of cities to climate change



The sessions are dedicated to exposing the contents of the course making use of several power points.

These Power points summarize the contents in Spanish. In addition, for each subject, there are some course notes. They are the second study tool. Both the powers points and the course notes are accessible by the students through the virtual campus. After each topic will pose a series of questions that should serve to review and summarize the main concepts, their implications, and what the empirical evidence available indicates. These questions will give a debate between the students directed and guided by the teacher during the hours of practical classes.


Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Problem solving classes 15 0.6 3, 2, 5, 4, 6, 1, 9, 8, 7
Teaching classes 30 1.2 3, 2, 5, 6, 9, 7
Type: Supervised      
Tutoring 15 0.6 2, 5, 4, 1, 9
Type: Autonomous      
Personal study 66 2.64 3, 2, 5, 4, 6, 9, 7


The assessment combines controls/exams on the course content and also short individual assignments (Work 1 and 2) where students can deepen some aspect of the syllabus. The final grade will be calculated according to the following weighting of each assessment activity:

- 1st partial exam: 10%

- 2nd partial exam: 20%

- Course work 1: 35%

- Course work 2: 35%

To be able to attend the recovery, the student must have previously been assessed for continuous assessment activities that are equivalent to 2/3 of the final grade.

Partial exams can be retaken, and will be done with a single final exam for the entire subject (regardless of the failed partial). The grade of this exam will weigh 30% with that of the assignments (35% each) to calculate the final grade of the subject.

In the event of any work not submitted or failed, the student will be required to sit a single final exam. In this case, the final mark will be that of this exam.


Unique assessment

Students who take the Unique Assessment for this subject will have to take a single exam on the day indicated in the calendar, and will also deliver the two individual papers on that day. The final mark will be calculated following the weighting: 30% of the exam, and 35% of each of the two papers.


Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
1st partial Exam 10% 2 0.08 3, 2, 5, 4, 6, 1, 9, 7
2on partial Exam 20% 2 0.08 3, 2, 5, 4, 6, 1, 9, 7
Coursework 1 35% 10 0.4 3, 2, 5, 4, 6, 1, 9, 8, 7
Coursework 2 35% 10 0.4 3, 2, 5, 4, 6, 1, 9, 8, 7


Hall, P. (1996) "Ciudades del mañana. Historia del urbanismo del siglo XX". Ediciones el Serbal, Barcelona

Ellin, N. (1996) "Postmodern urbanism". Princeton architectual press, New York

Muñiz, I. and Garcia-López, M.A. (2008) "The effect of employment subcenters on population density in Barcelona" Urban Studies, 45, pp. 627-649.

Muñiz, I., Calatayud, D., Garcia-López, M.A., Galindo, A. (2007) "Sprawl. causas y efectos de la dispersión urbana" en Indovina, F. (coord) La ciudad de baja densidad. Lógicas y gestión y autocontención. Diputació de Barcelona. Xarxa de Municipis

Gordon, P. and Richardson, H.W. (1998) "Beyond policentricity: the dispersed metropolis. Los Angeles 1970-1990". Journal of the American Planning Association, 62, pp. 289-295.

Wackernagel, M. (1996) "Ciudades sostenibles?" Ecología política n1 12, pp. 43-50.