Welcome message from the RSA Ambassador to Spain, Professor Coro Chasco
Estimado colega, bienvenido a la delegación en España de la Asociación de Estudios Regionales (“Regional Studies Association, RSA”). La RSA es una sociedad científica dedicada a las cuestiones regionales y al análisis geoespacial, en general, que constituye una auténtica red para académicos, estudiantes, profesionales y responsables políticos. Espero que la creación de esta delegación española de la RSA contribuya a promover en España las oportunidades y beneficios que ofrece la RSA a sus miembros, con el objetivo de profundizar en el debate sobre desarrollo, territorio y gobernanza, generando nuevos espacios de investigación comparativa y colaborativa entre los académicos, instituciones y asociaciones que nos dedicamos en España a la investigación regional y espacial.
Soy Coro Chasco, doctora en Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, directora del Grupo de Investigación en Economía Regional y Espacial (ECONRES), profesora del Departamento de Economía Aplicada de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) y coeditora de la revista “Spatial Economic Analysis”. Me dedico a la investigación en econometría espacial aplicada al análisis de las desigualdades regionales, calidad de vida, precios de la vivienda, medioambiente y turismo. Procuro participar en muchas actividades de transferencia de conocimiento a diversas instituciones públicas y privadas, y a la sociedad en general. Podrás contactar conmigo a través del correo electrónico email@example.com.
Dear colleague, welcome to the Spanish delegation of the Regional Studies Association (RSA). The RSA is a scientific society dedicated to regional issues and geospatial analysis in general, which constitutes a real network for academics, students, practitioners, and policymakers. I hope that the creation of this Spanish delegation of the RSA will contribute to promoting in Spain the opportunities and benefits offered by the RSA to its members, with the aim of deepening the debate on development, territory, and governance, generating new spaces for comparative and collaborative research among academics, institutions and associations that are dedicated in Spain to regional and spatial research.
I am Coro Chasco, PhD in Economics and Business Administration, director of the Research Group on Regional and Spatial Economics (ECONRES), professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) and co-editor of the journal “Spatial Economic Analysis”. I am a researcher in spatial econometrics applied to the analysis of regional inequalities, quality of life, housing prices, environment, and tourism. I try to participate in many knowledge transfer activities for various public and private institutions, and for society in general. You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to meeting you!
Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
In conjunction with RSA my research group holds monthly seminars devoted to discussing the development of new models/methods in spatial econometrics/statistics for applications in regional/urban economics and business administration.
On 1 February we will have the first seminar of the year 2023
Please click here for more information: https://econresuam.wordpress.com/econres-rsa-seminars/
RSA International Hour Webinar
Spain – 15th February 2023 – Spatial Analysis for Environmental Research
The International Hour is a webinar series organised by the RSA’s international community and networks. The series presents latest regional/urban research, developments and policies from around the world and offers a platform for discussion and exchange of ideas.
The webinars are free to attend and open to all. Recordings of previous sessions will be made available in the RSA Lounge.
On 15 February 2023 Spain will host the RSA International Hour webinar, the focus of which will be Spatial Analysis for Environmental Research. Click here for more information.
Meeting of RSA members in Spain
On Wednesday 11 January 2023 I hosted via Ms. Teams the first meeting of RSA members in Spain.
The agenda was as follows:
- Greetings and presentation of the ambassador in Spain of the RSA.
- Preparation of the “International Hour” that has been entrusted to us for the next year 2023.
- Information of activities of the RSA of interest for the associates during the year 2023.
- Requests, questions, suggestions
Please click here for the Minutes of meeting of RSA members in Spain 11.01.23.
On 12 January an interview with me by Radio Libertad aired. I was asked about the RSA and about other topics related to economics and regional studies.
Regional Studies and Spatial Analysis in Spain
Interest in the study of regional and urban affairs in Spain dates to ancient times. The Romans were concerned with dividing up the territory of the Iberian Peninsula as they conquered it after they arrived in the 2nd century BC. They built the new cities according to the urban planning criteria of Rome, with public works such as aqueducts, roads, and theatres. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the new inhabitants maintained the provincial administrative division and even created new “duchies”. From the 8th century onwards, the Muslims who conquered the Peninsula divided their territory into “Taifa kingdoms” which were made dependent on a city and, as the Christian Reconquest progressed southwards, new kingdoms were created which are the seeds of today’s Spain and Portugal. The 15th century saw the creation of Spain as a nation with the unification of the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon by the Catholic Monarchs, who respected the existing administrative divisions of both kingdoms.
During the Modern Age, Spanish cities were designed as fortifications and, in the New World, they were built with cordoned streets and a layout of the main buildings and public spaces perfectly determined by the “Laws of Yndias”. The process of Spanish colonisation of the Americas had a profound impact on geography, which became one of the most widely used skills for European exploration of the world at the time. As early as 1500, Juan de la Cosa was the first to map the known American lands in the Caribbean area. In the 18th century, the kings of Spain built rational, functional, and formally grandiose constructions, according to the prototype of the Enlightenment city, with buildings dedicated to education and health. King Carlos III stood out for the public works he promoted in the city of Madrid, as well as for his support for the construction of seaports, the design of road networks and the actions of Enlightenment figures such as Pedro de Olavide, who devoted himself to repopulating and revitalising some of the poor provinces in the south of the country.
With the industrialisation of the mid-19th century, the provincial capitals began to receive an influx of population and city expansions (“ensanches”) emerged, with a grid model, which is like a new city. This was the case of Barcelona, whose expansion was carried out by the engineer Ildefonso Cerdá, followed by Bilbao, San Sebastián and Madrid, where the town planner and geometrician Arturo Soria designed the so-called Ciudad Lineal. New territorial divisions of Spain were tried out, with the one made in the French style by the engineer and mathematician José María Lanz during the Napoleonic occupation and that of Javier de Burgos which divided Spain into provinces and regions based on rational criteria, with a relatively homogeneous size. The culmination of this century was the creation of the National Geographic Institute, whose work focused on cartography, geodetic triangulations and weights and measures.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the urban space grew with the development of city extensions and a reform of the historic centres was undertaken, with demolitions, realignments, and renovations. In 1931, with the assumption of the Second Republic, the possibility of the Spanish regions becoming autonomous regions was introduced into the Constitution. But, with the end of the civil war and the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, the regions lost their political importance, passing all territorial management to the provincial councils and civil governments. During the first stage of Franco’s dictatorial regime, some scientific contributions were made, such as the innovative approach to territorial structure developed by Román Perpiñá-Grau and the work of Ramón Trías Fargas on the estimation of regional balances of payments. To these must be added the initiatives of the Banco Urquijo and the Banco de Bilbao, which produced studies and provincial data series showing the country’s territorial inequalities and their evolution.
At the end of the 1950s, the implementation of the Development Plans aimed at the promotion of backward areas and the creation of industrial poles in various parts of the country led to the carrying out of numerous territorial studies, coordinated by Fernando Fernández, in which recognised international experts took part. They suggested the application of spatial analysis techniques such as the use of Input-Output tables, the application of the industrial complex theory, the creation of commercial areas or the promotion of agro-industrial development zones of a supra-provincial nature. In 1973, the AECR (Spanish Association of Regional Science) was founded, which was linked to Walter Isard’s “Regional Science”. The study on migration flows in Spain by García Barbancho, Lasuén’s research on regional growth factors and Julio Alcaide’s work on interregional inequalities date from this period. Along with economists and statisticians, we must highlight the work of many pioneering geographers in territorial studies, followers of classical French regional geography, such as Manuel de Terán, Casas Torres, Llobet and Reverter, Floristán, Higueras, Bosque, Ortega Valcárcel and Gómez Mendoza, among others.
With the beginning of the democratic era in Spain, the so-called “State of Autonomies” was fully developed, which acted as a powerful driving force for regional studies, boosting the generation of statistics and territorial analyses. Years later, the incorporation of Spain into the European Union constituted a new driving force, as research broadened its focus of analysis to make comparisons with EU countries and regions. The main result of this impetus was the creation of a good number of university research teams, such as the Hispalink network, with increasing demands in terms of the scientific-technical quality of their work, as is evident in the numerous works signed by Spanish authors that were published at the end of the 20th century. Some specialised Spanish journals also played an important role, such as the Revista de Estudios Regionales, Estudios Territoriales, Ciudad y Territorio, and the Boletín de la Asociación de Geógrafos Españoles.
In the present century, there has been a very positive and dynamic evolution in the field of regional studies and spatial analysis. Not only have new researchers and research groups joined the field, but there has been a strong renewal of analytical methods and techniques, while the topics under study have become increasingly varied and specialised. In addition, very active teams of researchers have been created in regional, urban, and spatial studies, in general, whose dominant characteristic is their international connections and the need to collaborate and contrast their work with teams from other countries and/or areas of knowledge. Researchers from areas such as economics, geography, sociology, and statistics are beginning to share knowledge with colleagues from epidemiology, archaeology, and environmental or agriculture engineering, who are also experts in spatial data analysis methods. We believe that this more transversal line of collaboration is a challenge on which the Regional Studies Association could have a lot to say in Spain in the coming years.
Dra. Coro Chasco
Directora, Grupo de Investigación en Economía Regional y Espacial (ECONRES)
Profesora, Departamento de Economía Aplicada
Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid