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UV Integrative and problem-oriented questions of geography and economics

Why do cities exist?

In this course, the phenomenon of the city is examined from an economic and a social geographic perspective. Central theories of economic urban and regional development as well as urban geography and urban sociology will be explained using empirical examples.

From an economic perspective, it is important to understand that people make decisions to improve their situation given limited resources: Households make decisions to optimize their utility, while firms maximize their profits. This optimization behavior influences how things are arranged in space and can help answer the following questions: What locations do firms choose, and what places do workers choose to live and work? Where does social and economic activity take place? Can the emergence, growth, and shrinkage of cities be explained as a consequence of these individual choices?

From a social geography perspective, the specific lifestyle and culture of the city are explored. As an expression of modernity, the city offers diverse life opportunities and options. Division of labor, cultural freedom and the concentration of numerous functions and institutions increase the attractiveness of the city. At the same time, living "among strangers" in the city creates numerous challenges: There is segregation, conflicts over the use of space, and intensified economic and social competition for space. The course aims to provide a deeper understanding of these dynamics.

This UV comprises 3 ECTS / 2 hours. can be taken as "GW B 6.2: UV Integrative and Problem-Oriented Issues in Geography and Economics I" or as "GW B 6.3: UV Integrative and Problem-Oriented Issues in Geography and Economics II". The UV is held in blocks (9 dates á 3 x 45 minutes) and concludes with a written exam. The final grade consists of the written exam (80%) and participation in class (20%).