Gradually, cities seem to become the ‘natural’ habitats of people and firms. In 1950, only 29 percent of people lived in cities. Today this counts for more than half of the world population and it is expected to reach 70 percent by 2050.

Diverse developments

In and between these cities complex and dynamic relationships are taking place between inhabitants, firms, visitors, transport and communication infrastructures and amenities. These interactions can lead to economic innovations, creativity and high quality of life. This will attract new firms, households and visitors. However, migration could reduce and mobility patterns could change, due to social and economic inequalities, tensions between lifestyles, and communication and mobilities problems. Urban areas worldwide are diverse. How they develop depends on their position in globalised social and economic systems, their location in a developed or developing country, and specific cultural, social, political and physical characteristics.


In the Research Master’s programme in Human Geography and Planning ‘Urban and Economic Geography’ you will learn:

  • to understand the reasons behind these diverse developments in the urbanised world,
  • to translate up-to-date theoretical and methodological developments in urban and economic geography into empirical research,
  • and to formulate effective policy recommendations to make cities and urban-regions more viable.