I have a pretty straightforward question. What sort of textbooks or graduate readings are there for urban economics that you would personally suggest and why? Preferably I would like one that has practice exercises/proofs in them that I can use. I've seen a few books that look like graduate texts out there, but don't know much about what's in them, so I figured some people here might.
Masahisa Fujita is considered as one of the most famous theorist in urban economics. He is one of the pioneers of the New Economic Geography. His book Urban Economic Theory: Land Use and City Size, 1989, Cambridge is a master piece, laying down the theoretical foundations of urban economics. Also, you may read
Fujita, Masahisa; Krugman, Paul; Venables, Anthony J. (1999). The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
Fujita, Masahisa; Thisse, Jacques-François (2013). Economics of
Agglomeration: Cities, Industrial Location, and Regional Growth (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Esteban Rossi-Hansberg from Princeton is a rising star in urban economics. You may check out his syllabus, which is pretty useful. He does not recommend any textbook, and provides a more modern approach.
It introduces a monocentric city model (the Alonso-Muth-Mills model) which is discussed in this excellent paper.
This looks at how housing prices and densities vary across a city, and how people of differing incomes sort spatially. This is the spatial equilibrium within cities.
It then goes on to look at spatial equilibrium across cities (using the Rosen-Roback model), agglomeration economics, urban distress and public policy.
It is mathematical, but does not include all steps in the derivations. My algebra and calculus is very good, but I have had trouble following all his steps. There are no exercises, but plenty of references to academic research that uses this theory.
Glaeser has studied urban economics at Harvard and wrote an excellent book The Triumph of the City for the layman.