Undergraduate Programme

Urban Economics

Course goal

The aim of the course is the contribution to the comprehension of the way by which the economic, social and other forces act upon to the creation, configuration and development of cities and settlements in general. Contrary to the usual "technical" approaches, which conceive the cities as a total of buildings and infrastructures, this course approaches the cities as a system of interdepended economic relations and functions. This system greatly determines critical parameters, as the size, the structure and the survival conditions. The course seeks to create a suitable theoretical background for the comprehension and critical assimilation of policies and regulations that in the courses of urban planning and urban - local development are analyzed and investigated.

Course subject

• Historical development of cities. • Urbanization, Implications of urbanization, Sociological approaches to urbanization, urbanization and economic development, congestion costs and optimal city size, the stages of urbanization, modern forms of urban development, urbanization in Greece. • Transportation Cost and space, the choice of the enterprises’ location using a one-dimensional model. • The theories of enterprises location: von Thünen, Weber, Hotelling, Polander, Analysis of market Area, Behavioral approaches, agglomeration economies and enterprises location, the theory of locational cost Smith,  Product Life Cycle and enterprises location, Marxist approaches. • Spatial distribution of cities, economic spatial concentration, economic clusters and enterprises location, theory of central places Christaller, the Lösch approach. • The size and hierarchy of cities, the size of cities and their development, the distribution of population and settlements in Greece, Rank-Size Rule, The Primary city pattern. • Urban land uses, competition in the urban land market, the model bid rent for housing, Bid-rent model and urban residential location, environmental problems in cities and bid rent theory, urban development and property value changes, monocentric or polycentric cities. • Urban Policy and institutions for urban policy, urban renewal or regeneration, the gentrification, green zones in cities, legalization of illegal housing, housing associations and companies • Internal structure of cities, the concentric zone model of Burgess, the sector model of H. Hoyt, The multi nuclei model of Harris and Ullman, The growth patterns of cities in Greece, Housing and density of cities, Dense structured and coherent city. • The urban environment, city, sustainability and viability, land use in city and urban environment, urban green and environmental value, transport networks and urban environment, Housing and urban environment. 


The students are graded by two written exams. One intermediate exam and the final exams in the end of the semester


  • Πολύζος Σ. (2013), Αστική Ανάπτυξη, Πανεπιστημιακές Σημειώσεις, Βόλος.
  • McCann P. (2003), Αστική και Περιφερειακή Οικονομική, Αθήνα, Εκδόσεις Κριτική.
  • Πολύζος Σ. (2005) Άρθρα και Σημειώσεις, Βόλος, Πανεπιστημιακές Εκδόσεις Θεσσαλίας.