The course information as follows may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the course at the end of the session. Questions about the course should be directed to the course instructor.


Course Title

Future Cities and Public Policy

ECTS Credits


Teaching Language


Instructor(s), Affiliation

To be confirmed

Delivery Method

Lectures and Discussions

Independent Study Hours






Pre-requisites or Other Academic Requirements

No prior subject knowledge is required to study this course, but students are expected to have a keen interest in the subject area.



Course Overview

This course provides an introductory overview of the role of cities in human development and how public policy can shape urban trajectories. The core topics discussed include why cities exist and how they evolve and transform in the face of continuous challenges. One part of the course is focussed the theoretical underpinning of urban and regional growth, decline, and resilience, whereas the second part is built around case studies of different cities responding to major sudden shocks. The course culminates with the synthesis of theory and practice in the form of a Sustainable Urban Futures Methods workshop, providing students with the necessary skills and tools to complete the final assignment.

The on-campus course will also include local field guided visits in order for students to experience how local organisations and institutions engage in the city.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students should have gained knowledge and understanding of:

       • The current level of research, scholarship and practice in the field of sustainable urban development;

       • Basic processes, procedures and practices for the effective design, management and governance of sustainable cities;

       • Some key theories, models and frameworks of analysis for the understanding of urban economic development in the 21st century;

       • Basic research skills appropriate for independent study and public or private sector employment at local, national and global scales;

       • The spirit and practice of critical forms of enquiry, analysis and presentation.


Textbook and Supplementary Readings

Brueckner, J. K. (2011) Lectures on Urban Economics, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.: Chapter 1.

Florida, R., Rodriguez-Pose, A., & Storper, M. (2021) Cities in a post-COVID world, Urban Studies, 1-23.

Pike, A., Rodríguez-Pose, A. & Tomaney, J., 2017. Local and regional development, 2nd edition, London; New York: Part II – Frameworks of understanding.

Peng, C., Yuan, M., Gu, C., Peng, Z. & Ming, T. (2017) A review of the theory and practice of regional resilience. Sustainable Cities and Society, 29: 86-96.

Lombardi, D.R., Leach, J. M., Rogers, C.D.F, Aston, R., Barber, A … and Whyatt, J.D. (2012) Designing Resilient Cities: A Guide to Good Practice. Bracknell, UK: IHS BRE Press, Chapter 4 (pp. 31-43) & Appendix 2: A Day in the Life of the UK Urban Futures Scenarios.


This assignment is a group presentation about finding solutions to contemporary urban problems and pressing challenges and about designing interventions that are resilient to changing circumstances in the long run (c. 40 years), 100% of the final grade.

Grading System

Letter Grading