Not many undergraduate business students get to help write a textbook in the topic they’re studying. But 70 students taking a course in regional and urban economics at the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recently participated in the writing of Urban Land Economics. The textbook is written for undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in business, economics, real estate, and urban and regional planning.
Taught by Jaime Luque, assistant professor in real estate and economics, the course introduces students to the contributions of cities to economic and social development. Last spring, Luque’s students read the latest research from relevant journals and then broke out into teams, each responsible for writing a chapter of a textbook. The chapters explored how a city’s economic vibrancy could be affected by different aspects of urban development, including the regulatory environment, neighborhoods, schools, transportation, commerce, homelessness, poverty, crime, and urban sprawl.
Luque met with each group of students to proofread and comment on their first drafts for the textbook. The project was the ultimate research paper for his students and a way for them to engage in a truly active learning process, he says. “This was a unique opportunity for students to put their analytical and writing skills to work.”
The students are noted as contributors in the textbook and can place that credit on their résumés. It was published in April by Springer International Publisher.