In addition to the master programme on Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics, the Department of Spatial Economics offers a summer school on “The Economics of Vibrant Cities” (3 ects). The course is meant for students Economics, Econometrics, Economic Geography, and Urban Planning. The summer school lasts 2 weeks and usually takes place in July.

Course contents

The course will lead you through the economic forces that drive urbanization and shape metropolitan areas, and will thus equip you with knowledge and skills that help answering questions such as: Why are some cities thriving, while others struggle? What types of firms and people want to cluster in space, and why? What does economic theory teach us about policy challenges that metropolitan areas face, such as crime, segregation, traffic congestion and environmental pollution?

The course combines lectures with field work and excursions in and around Amsterdam. One of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, capital of one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and an international economic and trade centre ever since the 17th century.


Send an email to Henri de Groot (co-ordinator summer school)


“The year I spent at VU Amsterdam completely changed the way how I approach transport-related problems and their interrelations with spatial economic and environmental phenomena. I strongly recommend STREEM for those who wish to complement earlier studies with deeper understanding in the economics of transportation and other network industries.”

Daniel Hörcher

Graduated in 2014


“This master was a challenge, and in one year master I developed my scientific skills more than I expected. The teaching staff contributed to my self-development and knowledge gain, and was very engaged with the students. Because of the small classes there was always space for discussion about interesting subjects. This made us think outside the box. Also were we frequently informed about work or internship opportunities.”

Sadaf Dostzada

Graduated in 2016


“The STREEM Master was a valuable and fundamental opportunity for my personal growth and scientific development. It allowed me to improve and deepen both theoretical and empirical knowledge by attending the lectures and by working under the supervision of international worldclass professors and researchers.”

Jochem Brons

Graduated in 2007


“This master allowed me to grow as an economist; the program's approach of theoretical and practical courses provides a strong analytical and deep understanding of the spatial, transport and environmental economic interactions. Being able to participate in a highly academic environment and becoming a more versatile economist is why I recommend STREEM.”

Daniel Navarro

Graduated in 2016