I have been teaching an undergraduate course called Economic Analysis for Planners for many years in the department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley.
This course exposes students to methods for understanding and shaping local economies. There are no prerequisites, so the material and assignments are suitable for students in any major. We introduce some analytical concepts such as visualization and statistics, but students are not required to have background in any topic or skill.
We begin with the following questions:
- Why do some regions grow and others decline?
- Is housing really too expensive? Why?
- How much should we pay in taxes?
- What should cities do to address climate change?
- Why and how does place determine opportunity?
And we cover the following topics:
- Concepts and methods of economic analysis
- Forms of urban inequality
- Economic development and economic impact analysis
- Urban structure and land use
- Government and taxation
- Place and opportunity
- Climate change and cost-benefit analysis