Switch to English
Cursus: GEO4-3632
The New Science of Cities
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (ECTS)7,5
Categorie / NiveauM (Master)
CursustypeCursorisch onderwijs
Aangeboden doorFaculteit Geowetenschappen; Graduate School Geowetenschappen; M Human Geography and Planning (research);
Contactpersoonprof. dr. M.J. Dijst
prof. dr. O.A.L.C. Atzema
Overige cursussen docent
Contactpersoon van de cursus
prof. dr. M.J. Dijst
Overige cursussen docent
prof. dr. M.J. Dijst
Overige cursussen docent
Docenten onderwijsinstituut SGPL
Overige cursussen docent
prof. dr. F.G. van Oort
Overige cursussen docent
1  (05-09-2016 t/m 13-11-2016)
TimeslotC: MA-middag/namiddag,DI-middag, DO-ochtend


Cursusinschrijving geopendvanaf 30-05-2016 08:00 t/m 26-06-2016 23:59
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
Inschrijven voor bijvakkersNee
Na-inschrijving geopendvanaf 22-08-2016 08:00 t/m 23-08-2016 23:59
PlaatsingsprocedureStudiepunt/Student desk
On completing the course, students:
  • Can describe, connect and discuss from a daily life and life course perspective the major transformation processes in urbanized societies and discuss its implications for performance of individuals, households and urban spaces.
  • Can describe, compare and discuss the most important contextual and situational perspectives and discuss implications for the performance of individuals, households and urban spaces.
  • Can describe, compare and discuss cities from a system-based view of agglomeration, innovation and economic growth.
  • Can interpret sorting and growth effects from a micro-economic based view of actors, entrepreneurship, firm growth and inter-firm networks.
  • Can interpret regional and global urban networks from a network-based view of territorial social and economic complementarities and urban and regional governance.
Why people (want to) live in cities and firms agglomerate, is central in much geographical research. But more than location factors are needed to explain the concentration of people and business. The “new science of cities” argues that in order to understand cities, we should not conceptualise them merely as places, but much more as systems of networks in which flows circulate. Flows of talent, of foreign investments, of migrating people, of information, in social networks, across cultures. Flows that require embedding within local infrastructures, and linking local with regional and (inter)national infrastructures. Networks that co-determine how individuals and entrepreneurs settle and function in cities and urban regions, how a quality of life is created that makes people happy and healthy and firms productive and competitive in cities. Networks that also co-determine “winning” and “losing” groups in local societies, that may induce economic, social and planning policies and interventions, requiring a mixture of established and new forms of governance (multi-actor networks).

In this course from two related dimensions of the new science of cities will be studied: (1) the dimension of individuals and their households and (2) the dimension of entrepreneurs:
1.    The number of ways in which individuals and households in Western societies can structure their daily lives as well as their life course has increased greatly in response to technological, economic, social and cultural developments. This has contributed to the strong individualization of these societies. Because of these transformation processes, patterns of activities, movement, interaction, and communication will become increasingly fragmented and heterogeneous. Not only at the daily but also on the life course level fragmentation occurs. 

For individuals and their households two temporal scales are important. First, the scale of daily life which emphasizes the description and explanation of the progression of the daily paths through time and space as people participate in activities at home or elsewhere and its implications for meanings and development of flows and places. Second, the scale of the life course which deals especially with the description and explanation of changes in the domains of ‘work’, ‘home-making’ and ‘leisure’ but also with the links to the settling and departing of the households of residents in neighborhoods and cities at different stages of their life course. 

Central to this individual/household dimension of the new science of cities is to develop a better understanding of the dynamics in and meanings of physical spatio-temporal contexts for the urban transformation processes. These contexts refer to the built environment, the presence of people, mobile objects and natural processes. Various contextual and situational approaches will be presented. The implications for spatial planning will also be discussed. 
2.    Innovation, regional and urban resilience and competitiveness are key issues in the new science of cities. From a system point of view, resilience is not only concerned with path-return after (global or local) economic shocks, but also with path creation. Central in this process is how innovative entrepreneurs operate on existing and new markets, and how urban and regional contexts co-determine the success of clusters and agglomerations. Innovative entrepreneurs and knowledge workers sort themselves into innovative environments and amenity-rich milieus – also environments that are dense in global network connections. The interplay between local development and positions in economic networks forms competitive cities of the 21st century. 

Regional policy is served with good identification of their policy instruments and intentions. Depending on the goals of urban policy, equality, competitiveness, growth and innovation are often targeted by policymakers. Networks of firms, of entrepreneurs, of cities among themselves and of places within and between cities, are crucial in understanding urban-regional development, and the efficiency of policy instruments. The course will therefore focus on identifying evolutionary development trajectories of cities and regions, the resilience of regions, competitive advantages of regions and the governance and complementarities of regions in order to reach the course objectives. Students will work with multilevel and multivariate datasets on economic and statistical analyses, conduct interviews with policymakers, and actively collect literature and data on the issues studied. Policy initiatives at the urban level in The Netherlands, Europe and on a worldwide scale will be studied in depth.
Latest information about the course contents can be found in the course manual.
Je moet voldoen aan de volgende eisen
  • Ingeschreven voor een opleiding van de faculteit Faculteit Geowetenschappen
  • Ingeschreven voor één van de volgende opleidingen
    • Urban and Economic Geography
  • Ingeschreven voor een andere opleiding dan
    • Cursist Geowetenschappen
Voorkennis kan worden opgedaan met
Good reading material before the course starts:
• Michael Batty (2013), The New Science of Cities. Cambridge: The MIT-Press.
• Ed Glaeser (2012), Triumph of the City. London: MacMillan.
• Enrico Moretti (2013), The New Geography of Jobs. Boston: Mariner Books.
• Chapters from: Giles Duranton, Vernon Henderson & William Strange (2015), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
• And literature mentioned below
Bronnen van zelfstudie
Good reading material before the course starts (literature mentioned above and below):
• Zachary Neal (2013), The Connected City. How Networks are Shaping the Modern Metropolis. London: Routledge.
• Peter Taylor (2013), Extraordinary Cities. Millenia of Moral Syndroms, World-Systems and City/State Relations. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
• Anthony Townsend (2013), Smart Cities. New York: Norton.
Verplicht materiaal
collection of academic articles

Voorbereiding bijeenkomsten
Students will have to read articles and (parts of) books before lectures and seminars.


Minimum cijfer-

• A written exam with open questions (note: not an open book exam!) (60%)
• Individual assignments (40%)
• A duo paper (20%)

Switch to English