Urban Economic Development: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Innovative and Entrepreneurial Cities in the Global Economy

Study programme

In a global economy, cities and regions are in a perpetual state of competition. This specialisation track examines how cities use innovation and entrepreneurship to drive growth and build economic resilience in an unstable global economic climate.

The Urban Economic Development and Resilience programme is a specialisation track within the MSc in Urban Management and Developmentwhich offers students the opportunity to gain insight into the fundamental urban and regional processes related to economic development and resilience. Case-study examples and contemporary literature explain urban governance from an economic perspective by showcasing how cities grow and perform economically at a regional and global level. Students will work with real databases and use statistical software to learn how to translate economic theory into concrete analyses. By the end of the track, students will learn to identify criteria to assess urban and regional economic policy effectiveness using quantitative methods for evaluation as well as perform these analyses on various spatial scales: from countries to regions to neighbourhoods to households and individuals. In addition, students will be able to interpret real-world data to deliver innovative solutions for economic resilience in the context of an unstable global economic climate.

  • At the end of the course, the students should be able to:

    • Reproduce and interpret theories that deal with urban and regional competitiveness and resilience.

    • Identify criteria for urban and regional economic policy effectiveness using quantitative methods for evaluation.

    • Apply economic and geographical reasoning to analyze economic development and governance on various spatial scales: from countries to regions to neighborhoods to households and individuals (macro-level, meso-level and micro-level analyses).

    • Apply theories, concepts and analytical research methods from contemporary literature to practical examples.

How is your year organized?

In the first block the programme shares courses on urban sustainability, governance, planning, policy, finance and data analytics with the other specialisation tracks. However, your assignments with the modules as well as the action planning workshop are always track-specific. In the second and third blocks, your courses will only be track-specific but all students also follow a course on GIS. In addition, the programme will strengthen your research skills through research methods courses and workshops. It will further guide you in writing your thesis proposal on a topic relevant to your specialisation track. The forth block will be entirely dedicated to you writing your thesis.

    • The impact of designated industrial zones on Egypt's manufacturing SMEs.

    • Does changed connectivity contribute to changes in the resilience of specialized cities?

    • Local competitiveness projects under EU external financial aid: A scope analysis of the regional competitiveness operational programme, Turkey.

    • Big brand physical presence effects on attractiveness of urban areas in Klang Valley.

    • High-tech specialization and income inequality: Evidence from Europe, 1995-2015.

  • Blocks 1 & 2 - October to January

    • With over half of the population living in urban areas, rising to 70% in 2050, it is of ever-increasing importance to understand how cities work and evolve. Complex and interrelated economic, social, physical, and environmental processes are constantly transforming cities. Understanding cities, therefore, require us to recognize, define and describe these complex and multidisciplinary processes.

    • This course will discuss the efforts of governments, often undertaken in partnership with other stakeholders, to deliberately intervene in and influence, steer and guide the development process of cities. 

    • Local governments have a key role in the planning and execution of investments and preparation of fundable projects. In some countries, local governments have become increasingly dependent on intergovernmental transfers, which have been shrinking over time in part because of the fiscal constraints. Moreover, investment decisions are at the core of any development strategy. All these, and many others aspects of financial investments, are addressed in this course.

    • The Action planning Workshop incorporates the concepts learned during the Urban Governance, Policy, Planning and Public Private Partnerships (UGPPP) module in a practical, one-week exercise.

    • For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. This does not only mean that a majority of people worldwide live in cities, but also that cities are increasingly becoming larger and more complex. To account for that complexity, an ever-increasing number of quantitative data sources that cover urban areas and cities on different scales have become available, requiring urban managers to have the knowledge and skills for analysing such data and making sense out of them. This course will teach students how to harness the power of quantitative urban data by mastering the way they are prepared, visualised and analysed. The course begins with introducing students to quantitative data analysis (compared to qualitative data analysis), and continues with lectures on descriptive statistics and data visualisation.

    Block 3 - January to April

    • In the field of economic development, theories on regional economic competition and competitiveness will be introduced and winners and losers of regional competition discussed. In the field of resilience, students will be exposed to the topics of evolutionary economics, economic transitions and innovation, and placed-based economic development policies. There will be special attention to the economic impacts of sustainable development, infrastructural development, restructuring labour markets, structural change, innovation, urban and regional planning, and international trade and FDI relations. 

    • This course will run in parallel and cover more advanced methods of data analysis for policy evaluation, building upon the core period course ‘Urban Data Analytics’. Students will be introduced to non-linear regression models, panel data analysis, binary dependent variable, and instrumental variable regression. A major focus of this module lies on the interpretation of results with the aim to conduct evidence-based policy analysis.  

    Block 4 - April to September

    • Designing and implementing academic research in the field of urban studies is a major component of the master’s programme at IHS. This Research Design (RD) course guides students to design academic research within the social sciences and to develop their thesis proposal.

    • For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. This does not only mean that a majority of people worldwide live in cities, but also that cities are increasingly becoming larger and more complex. In this context, collecting and making sense of in-depth qualitative data on complex urban issues is crucial for urban managers to understand and respond to how urban complexity is constructed, maintained, experienced and contested.

    • One aspect that makes the M.Sc. Programme unique is the fact that participants are encouraged to perform action-oriented research in their home countries or a country other than their own during the fieldwork period; there will be cases in which participants stay in Rotterdam and do their data collection in the Netherlands. To support the participants’ thesis work, as well as the quality of their output, IHS, in line with its research policy and research interest, offers participants the research workshops.