ECLAC holds a successful course on "Urban Economics: What do we need to know to improve the management of cities?

Curso Economía Urbana CEPAL

Curso Economía Urbana CEPAL

The Human Settlements Unit of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has successfully completed the first edition of the long-awaited course on "Urban Economics: What do you need to know to improve the management of cities?". The event was held at ECLAC headquarters in Santiago de Chile during the month of November 2023.

The initiative had the valuable collaboration of the University of Costa Rica, the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella of Argentina and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, establishing a strategic alliance that brought together high-level experts and participants from different parts of the region.

The course attracted the attention of more than 700 applicants, from which 36 professionals, technicians and decision-makers from more than 15 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean were carefully selected. This heterogeneous group brought a diversity of perspectives and exchange of experiences, further enriching the course content.

Martim Smolka, an academic and expert in land and financing policies, addressed fundamental issues such as the capture of land-value gains for social benefit and the economic principles that support it. Marcela Román, from the University of Costa Rica, unraveled the functioning of land markets and the formation of land prices and uses.

Diego Aulestia, head of ECLAC's Human Settlements Unit, contextualized the region's urban reality, presenting key elements and its challenges in housing and urban planning. Anaclaudia Rossbach, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Lincoln Institute, explored the ecosystem of urban financing and its tax structure, providing a comprehensive overview of the challenges in housing and informality.

The diversity of approaches continued with Ciro Biderman from the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) of São Paulo, who presented the principles of the urban mobility economics, applied to public policy. Cynthia Goytia, director of the Master of Science in Urban Economics program at Torcuato Di Tella University, explored crucial issues of urban regulation, land prices and informality.

The event also featured the participation of special guests, including Carlos de Miguel from ECLAC, who addressed the challenges of cities in the face of climate change; Francisco Sabattini, professor at the Universidad del Bío-Bío and the Universidad Católica de Chile, who discussed residential segregation and social integration; and Carlos Orrego, an expert in real estate valuation, who presented the basics of real estate taxation.


This first edition of the Urban Economy Course has laid the groundwork for future learning and exchange initiatives that promote sustainable development and efficient management of our cities. ECLAC thanks all participants, collaborators and experts for making this event a resounding success - get ready for more learning opportunities to come!