Course syllabus

Marknaden, politiken och staden
Market, Politics and the City

VFRN02, 7,5 credits, A (Second Cycle)

Valid for: 2021/22
Faculty: Faculty of Engineering, LTH
Decided by: PLED L
Date of Decision: 2021-03-12

General Information

Elective for: L4-fr, L4-fe
Language of instruction: The course will be given in Swedish


The purpose of the course is for students to acquire knowledge of and analysis skills in the role of planning of the built environment in urban development. The course focuses on teaching how urban planning interacts with spontaneous market forces and thereby preparing students to work in an environment where market, bureaucracy and politics all affect the city's development.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must

Judgement and approach
For a passing grade the student must


Cities are the major engine of growth for the world economy. Decades of urbanization have resulted in just over half of the world's population now living in cities, a growing proportion. At the same time, cities account for a significantly larger share of production. In cities, people gather closely, which creates a breeding ground for innovation, entrepreneurship and ideas. Even if this is done without a stated purpose, in a spontaneous and seemingly disorderly manner, it may seem tempting to try to plan for desirable outcomes. But what is the role of planning and politics, and what is the role of people and households' own choices?

In the course, students study and analyze economic and social processes in urban environments. The teaching is built around different processes and integrates knowledge from law, planning and economics, as well as geographical information technology. The students will in particular study and analyze the market's critical role for urban development, as well as get in touch with and in-depth analyze examples of when policy has disregarded the market and what consequences this has had for cities. The students will thereby gain an increased insight and understanding of how markets can be incorporated into politics and planning in order to thereby achieve desirable outcomes.

The course will include:

A common theme for the course is to understand the borderland between market and politics. What can politics decide and what consequences can it have? What arguments are there for political intervention and what arguments are there for letting market forces guide development? What are the public policy instruments and how do they work? Here, the course will deal with e.g. general and detailed plans, public land ownership and implementation agreements for development.

The teaching consists of lectures, seminars, and scheduled time for discussion of individual texts.

Examination details

Grading scale: UG - (U,G) - (Fail, Pass)
Assessment: Mandatory active participation in seminars, orally and in writing. Final individual written report.

The examiner, in consultation with Disability Support Services, may deviate from the regular form of examination in order to provide a permanently disabled student with a form of examination equivalent to that of a student without a disability.


Admission requirements:

The number of participants is limited to: No

Reading list