37382 - Environmental, Political and Economic Management Systems

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Enrico Balugani (Modulo 1) Diego Marazza (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Ravenna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Environmental Assessment and Management (cod. 5900)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the teaching course the student is able to portray a system and to model the relationships between the elements of the system for their management. The student is familiar with the principles of economics and with the categories of environmental policies for environmental management.

Course contents

The focus will be placed on understanding systems for managing purposes. Systems evolving in time will be studied starting from system representation and formalisation through the system dynamic technique. Laboratory will be based on a fit-on-purpose software (Vensim).

System dynamics theory will be used to build environmental models for various disciplines: physics, chemistry, biology, ecology.

Systems studies will serve the basis to introduce theory of Environmental Economy and Policies: goods value, production cost, market price, externalities will lead to acquire basic notions of Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). The student will be introduced to different policies such as taxes and subsidies and to discounting operations.

Students who are affected by a learning disability (DSA) and in need of special strategies to compensate for it are kindly requested to contact the Teacher, to be referred to the colleagues in charge and get proper advice and instructions.


The teaching course is made of manifold disciplines and topics which are not covered in one or few monographs. It is highly recommended to use the material provided by the teacher.

Beside the teaching material the following books and resources are suggested.

  1. [Main textbook for the first module] Hannon, Bruce, and Matthias Ruth.Dynamic modeling. Springer Science & Business Media, 2001.
  2. [CLD theory] Bilash Kanti Bala , Fatimah Mohamed Arshad , Kusairi Mohd Noh. System Dynamics
    Modelling and Simulation.
    Springer Texts in Business and Economics, 2017.
  3. Vincenzo Vita, Compendio di Microeconomia, Edizioni Simone
  4. [some basics of environmental modelling - modulo 1] Wainwright, John, and Mark Mulligan, eds. Environmental modelling: finding simplicity in complexity. John Wiley & Sons, 2005.
  5. Martín García, Juan - Theory and Practical Exercises of System Dynamics: Book for students and research to learn the applications of nonlinear and feedback control simulation models. (System Thinking 2019)
  6. Hannon, Bruce, and Matthias Ruth. Dynamic modeling of economic systems. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012.
  7. McDowell, Moore, et al.Principles of economics: European edition. University College Dublin, 2006. APA
  8. King, Stephen, et al.Principles of economics. 2012. APA
  9. Thinking in Systems, a primer (2008); Meadows (Donella H.), earthscan publishing
  10. Complexity a guided tour (2009); Mitchell (Melanie), Oxford University Press

Ulteriori Testi e risorse di approfondimento

  1. Open Courses del MIT
  2. Turner R.K., Pearce D.W., Bateman I. (2003) Economia ambientale, (a cura di Pellizzari F.), il Mulino, Bologna.
  3. http://www.systems-thinking.org/
  4. https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/15-871-introduction-to-system-dynamics-fall-2013/ (16’ instructor insight, recitations,flipped course)
  5. https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/res-15-004-system-dynamics-systems-thinking-and-modeling-for-a-complex-world-january-iap-2020/ (1h video and lot of material for self-study)

Teaching methods

Numerous and different learning tools will be used such as: analysis of case studies, guided discussions, individual and group work and lectures. Lectures will be carried out with the aim of transferring knowledge and focusing attention on key points. The experimental activities will have the aim of consolidating and applying the principles and tools studied in the course. A dedicated laboratory is provided for the modeling of dynamic systems. Attendance - especially laboratory and practice - is important to have a full understanding of the topic

Assessment methods

Assessment aims to assess the degree of achievement of 2 main objectives:

(a) to be able to represent a system and model the relationships between the elements of the system in order to manage them.

b) to demonstrate knowledge of economic and political instruments for managing the environment.

The evaluation criteria include:

  • the ability to examine and resolve questions during oral examination,
  • the practical capacity in system modelling
  • the accuracy and appropriateness of the language used for both content and form,
  • argumentation and critical discussion of the concepts expressed
  • contribution to the discussion in class and on IOL forum and attendance at lectures and seminars

Students will be provided with a list of detailed objectives to enhance their preparation for the examination.

The exams consist of answering open questions during an oral test.

Students will also be given a list of specific goals for the exam preparation.

Grades are given on a basis of 30, with possible laude (30+laude=33).

Note for working students and non-attending students: working students and students unable to attend are invited to notify and justify this condition by a written note to drop to the teachers.

Teaching tools

Beamer, PC, blackboard


Softwares Vensim https://vensim.com/free-download/

Office hours

See the website of Enrico Balugani

See the website of Diego Marazza


Decent work and economic growth Sustainable cities Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.