AIA CES Credits
AV Office
Abstract Publication
Academic Affairs
Academic Calendar, Columbia University
Academic Calendar, GSAPP
Admissions Office
Advanced Standing Waiver Form
Alumni Board
Alumni Office
Anti-Racism Curriculum Development Award
Architecture Studio Lottery
Avery Library
Avery Review
Avery Shorts


STEM Designation
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Skill Trails
Student Affairs
Student Awards
Student Conduct
Student Council (All Programs)
Student Financial Services
Student Health Services at Columbia
Student Organization Handbook
Student Organizations
Student Services Center
Student Services Online (SSOL)
Student Work Online
Studio Culture Policy
Studio Procedures
Summer Workshops
Support GSAPP
This website uses cookies as well as similar tools and technologies to understand visitors' experiences. By continuing to use this website, you consent to Columbia University's usage of cookies and similar technologies, in accordance with the Columbia University Website Cookie Notice Group 6

Alain Bertaud

Tue, Feb 12, 2019    1:15pm

Order without Design: How markets shape cities
Alain Bertaud
Senior Research Scholar, NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management

In his book, urban planner Alain Bertaud argues that applying the theories of urban economics to the practice of urban planning would significantly improve both the productivity of cities and the welfare of urban citizens. Bertaud explains that markets provide the necessary mechanism for cities’ development. Drawing on five decades of urban planning experience in forty cities around the world, Bertaud links cities’ productivity to the size of their labor markets. He argues that the design of infrastructure and markets can complement each other; examines the spatial distribution of land prices and densities; stresses the importance of mobility and affordability; and critiques the land use regulations that aim at redesigning existing cities instead of just trying to alleviate clear negative externalities.

Bertaud insists that municipal urban planning departments would be much more effective in implementing the political objectives of elected officials, like improving affordability, decreasing poverty, increasing mobility, if they were routinely monitoring several types of indicators like inputs, outputs, outcomes, and impacts. Typically, only inputs and outputs are routinely monitored. Bertaud concludes by describing the new role that joint teams of urban planners and economists could play to improve the way cities are managed.

The Lectures in Planning Series (LiPS) is an initiative of the Urban Planning program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information or to make program suggestions, email lipscolumbiaplanning@gmail.com.