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Municipal Economics Institute

Inštitut za komunalno gospodarstvo (IKG)

Economic slowdown, in some parts even recession, is one of the main factors for the shift from the former »city of the future« paradigm to the demand for sustainable urban growth. It requires from the governments, inter alia, to make sure that the means for urban development, including municipal (communal) infrastructure, do not decrease and at the same time that the urban life style is transferred also to the rural areas.

As members of the Municipal Economics Institute we focus part of our educational and research work on the study of these issues. This involves the estimation of the scope of the gap between disinvestments and depreciation in municipal infrastructure and its consequences in real world. At the same time, we evaluate the economic entitlement and sustainability of new investments in rural areas, taking into account mainly the expected demographic changes, such as decreasing population and population ageing as well as decrease of the purchasing power.

The Municipal Economics Institute consists of 2 members: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maruška Šubic Kovač as Head and assistant dr. Peter Lamovec.

Research and professional activity

The main aspect of municipal infrastructure can be expressed through the words of Little Prince: »What is essential is invisible to the eye!«. If not literally, then at least metaphorically. Infrastructure is below surface and we take it for granted – its existence as well as functioning. We become aware of its existence only when it stops working. Scientists across the world are aware of the importance of its functioning, and in cooperation with them we study the availability of municipal infrastructure in different areas within various European COST projects. We have found out that there are numerous theoretic models for this area, but different obstacles prevent them to be transferred into practice. Thus, we made an attempt to transfer these models into practice!

One of the conditions required for the dynamic urban development in present conditions is also adequate land management. In the COST project »Land management for Urban Dynamics«, implemented with experts from all around Europe, now already finished, we analysed the ability of the public sector to mobilize land as condition for the realization of urban projects. The area of land management is related to the specifics of the legal system in individual countries. For this reason, higher education of future experts in this area is of special importance in each individual country. During the studies students of civil and geodetic engineering acquire adequate competences to be used in the practice.

Denationalization and privatization procedures after 1991, i.e. in the new social-economic system, required the establishment of market real estate valuation. In cooperation with other partners we implemented two projects with the aim to form the first models of mass real estate valuation in the Republic of Slovenia. The majority of experts from this area are graduates of our faculty, which confirms the fact that we offer future experts all the required knowledge that contribute to their better employability as a starting point for their careers.

Educational activity

The Municipal Engineering Institute is involved in teaching at all the Faculty’s study programs. Within the first cycle study programs we transfer to our students the basic knowledge from the areas of our work within obligatory courses Spatial Development, Municipal Economics and Construction Legislation, Communal Technical Infrastructure, and several other obligatory courses dealing with building land management and real estate valuation. Extended knowledge is transferred to the first cycle students through elective courses. Among these, the course Municipal Economics has been very popular among students in the last few years, as a consequence of changed economic conditions in the civil engineering area. At the second cycle study programs students are introduced into the area of municipal and housing economics. In cooperation with teachers from other chairs of our Faculty, we teach about infrastructural systems and real estate management. With the development of the real estate market in Slovenia, students have become especially interested in the course Real Estate Valuation, within which they prepare a valuation report for selected real estate. Besides teaching, we put a lot of effort into supervision or co-supervision of final works at the first and second cycle studies.

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