MSc Specialisation: Urban Competitiveness and Resilience

The Urban Competitiveness and Resilience (UCR) specialisation of the MSc in Urban Management and Development (UMD), developed by Prof. Ronald Wall, focuses on understanding the relationship between global, regional and local economic development; social wellbeing and addressing important issues of urban competitiveness and resilience.

UCR studies the interdependent relationships between globalisation processes, local economic development and urban conditions that facilitate the opportunity for cities to successfully compete and collaborate with one another. The increasing dependency of cities on global economics means it is crucial to find a balance between social wellbeing, local economic development and global strategies that will ensure resilience to socioeconomic shocks and fluctuations.

The performance of a city is represented not only be economic indicators but also subjective measures of urban characteristics and their contribution social wellbeing. UCR will challenge students to consider how urban management and economic geography can be associated with different professional backgrounds including Architecture, Engineering, Urban Planning, Economics, Social Sciences and Environmental Management among others. By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Analyse how local economic (wealth) and social innovations (wellbeing) in the city can lead to urban prosperity and happiness.
  • Identify how local, regional and global dynamics can affect happiness in the city.
  • Distinguish between objective and subjective dimensions of urban phenomena.
  • Apply mixed research methods (quantitative, qualitative, and geospatial analysis) to link socioeconomic and spatial data.
  • Develop urban strategic plans to improve quality of life in cities.
  • Appraise how better urban planning and policy interventions can set the conditions for urban innovation, competition, wealth and wellbeing.

By the end of the course students will have a deeper cognitive understanding of socioeconomics and how to make cities more connected and thus more competitive on a local, regional and global scale.

Urban Competitiveness & Resilience (UCR)

Lecturers and Associate Lecturers




IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Dr.Ir. Ronald Wall

Head of UCR 

IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Paula Nagler

Mid-level Researcher

IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Frank van Oort

Academic Director

IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Luca D'Acci

Associate Lecturer

Wageningen University

Alex Levering

Associate Lecturer