Core Courses

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In Year one of the program, students will take a set of required core courses. In Year two, students will be required to take MUI2095H, the Capstone Project.

MUI 1010H Introduction to Management of Urban Innovation
Urban centres are increasingly an important focal point for industrial innovation and economic development. Globalization, a recognition of the importance of innovation to economic prosperity, the interdependence between knowledge generation, learning, and proximity, and not least, the fragmentation of the innovation process itself, have all helped give rise to new understandings of how urban regions interact with, and support, knowledge-intensive economies. The purpose of this course is to survey the literature on these issues and explore their implications for: the role of strategic management in planning and directing the economic development of city-regions; the role of economic governance in city-regions; and, the relationships that urban centres have with upper-levels of government.

MUI 1020H Civic Engagement and Economic Development
This course provides an overview and critical analysis of core constructs used to understand the role of civic engagement in economic and community development. Beginning with theoretical constructs, policy contexts, and spatial dimensions of community and economic development, we examine the challenges and prospects for meeting both local economic growth and social equity objectives at the local and regional scale. Shifting to the process of engaging the community and broader civic organizations, we examine the methods, strategies and tactics involved, focusing on planning, implementation and management activities. We conclude with an examination of the way new methods of civic engagement are contributing to community and economic development practice and the various approaches and programs offering ‘on the ground’ prospects for integrating community and economic development goals. The primary objective of this course is to encourage students to understand the relationship between the theory, process and actual practice of community and economic development and to identify key themes, cross-cutting challenges, and opportunities for innovation.

MUI 1030H Urban and Regional Economic Development Theory
This course will introduce students to the field of urban and regional economic development theory. Course material will introduce students to the analysis of spatial economic processes at various geographic scales and explain how broader economic processes, including international trade and investment, financial flows, the impact of industrial structures and the ongoing processes of economic restructuring on a global scale, exert an impact on the trajectories of local economic development. The course will introduce students to current debates in economic development, their policy implications and how they are applied to issues of urban and regional growth and decline. It will also examine how the emergence of new problems in economic development, such as globalization, outsourcing, the rise of the “new competition” and the need for regions and localities to prosper in a global economy that is vastly more integrated today than in the past. A theoretical and conceptual introduction to these processes will help students understand important differences in how communities are shaped and constrained by these broader forces in developing and implementing economic development strategies and what these differences might imply for long-term policy reach and impact.

MUI 1040H Socially Sustainable Cities: Theory, Policy, and Practice
This course explores theories, policies, and institutions related to the social sustainability of cities. Socially sustainable cities integrate urban residents and diverse groups in a just and equitable fashion through investments in community services, educational and employment opportunities, and income supports. In recent decades, the forces of economic globalization, international migration, and labour market restructuring have intensified urban social and spatial divisions, raising complex public management challenges in sustaining equitable and democratic cities. Drawing on inter-disciplinary literature to build an urban political economy framework, the course begins with consideration of the theoretical linkages between the economic and social dimensions of city life. It then examines a range of social sustainability strategies, both national and local, to balance innovation and inclusion. Topics include collaborative governance, community economic development, neighbourhood revitalization, affordable housing and public transit, immigrant settlement, workforce development, and civic engagement and urban social movements. The course concludes with assessment of the organizational challenges and community impacts of different strategies and interventions for social sustainability.

MUI 1050H Urban Politics
The goal of this course is to develop your political acuity by examining the political forces at work in cities, and the political environment in which urban policy decisions are made. We will accomplish this by introducing you to various theories of urban politics and investigating how these frameworks apply to case studies in different local and national settings. The course is motivated by four fundamental questions: Who holds power in cities? How is this power exercised? What political conflicts does this produce? And how can we explain these conflicts? We will answer these questions mainly using the conceptual tools of political science, which aim to capture the role of organized interests, institutions, and ideas in urban governance, as well as case studies and conversations with urban scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds in cities around the world.

MUI 1060H Local and Regional Government
The goal of this course is to better understand how Canadian cities are formally governed — how local and regional governments are structured, what levels of government are responsible for different local services, and how local policy decisions are made, including the municipal budget process. The course is divided in two parts. First, we examine the general features of Canada’s system of urban governance — the basic machinery of local government and municipal administration; the mandate and functions of local agencies and regional authorities; and the role of federal and provincial governments in local affairs. Next, we dive deeper into the local policy process, particularly how municipal governments raise and spend money to deliver public services.

MUI 1075H Digital Cities
This course provides an overview of how the emergence of digital technologies are shaped by, and shaping, cities. Students will use case studies to consider the successes and challenges associated with cities in the digital age. Consideration will be given to issues of governance and equity and the roles of public, private and not-for-profit actors.

MUI 1080H Economic Development Planning
This course is meant to provide students with the skills to understand and apply a variety of analytic approaches for regional and community economic development planning. These techniques are used in professional practice to yield information about the behaviour and performance of local economies and to measure the impact of public policy interventions. With an emphasis on the use of case-study examples, the course will provide students with a solid understanding of the range of policy interventions that are used by economic development practitioners; the context and rationale for selection between economic development policy alternatives; and the suitability of policy alternatives at the spatial scale of the city and the region. By the end of the course, students should be able to select techniques appropriate to particular situations and information needs, conduct analyses using these methods, critically evaluate the validity of the analytic results obtained, and interpret and clearly explain the results to policy makers.

MUI 1090H Technology, Strategy & Policy
This course concerns the formulation of business strategy and the management of business enterprises in rapidly evolving, technology-intensive industries. Examples of such industries include (but are not restricted to) pharmaceuticals, computer hardware and software, aerospace, and telecommunications. These sectors are considered by many to be the principal areas for economic growth in industrialized countries. The primary goal of this course is to develop the participants' understanding of the nature of the forces driving competitive interaction between technology-based firms. The course will examine the logic (or lack thereof) of the policies which shape the environment in which technology intensive industries must compete. Also, we consider the managerial and organizational challenges presented by the technology intensive environment.

MUI 1100H Summer Internship/Coop Placement
Students will be placed with one of the numerous partner organizations for their summer internship. In addition to the experience gained in working on initiatives related to topics in the core program of study, students will be required to produce a brief policy report at the end of the internship that analyzes one of the key policy issues or problems they worked on during their placement in terms of the key theoretical approaches and analytical techniques taught in the core curriculum of the first year.

MUI 2095H Capstone Course
All students in the program will complete a capstone course in their second year that will draw upon the academic background and training provided in both their core and elective courses, as well as the practical experience gained through their summer internship to analyze a key problem or challenge in economic development and provide both the analytical and governance components of an integrated solution to the problem. The class will be divided into groups of two or three students and each group will work on the project under the supervision of faculty mentor(s). The focus of the projects will be on demonstrating integration, application, and innovation skills to address challenges in managing the process of urban development.

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