I used the money of the award to pay my assistance to the ERSA summer school. I must say that it was a really great experience in every sense, although it was extremely hard. We had lectures during the morning and seminars during the afternoon, so our schedule was from 9:15 am to 7:15 pm every day, with only one day off on Saturday.
I really enjoyed the lectures and specially the seminars. We had 45 minutes to present our work and to discuss about others, then, there was important feedback between each other. Some researchers were completely new for me but that helped me to raise new ideas to enrich my research work not only during my PhD studies, but also in my career as an academic. On the other hand, I did at least 30 new very good friends in different universities which I know will be very useful to make partnership work in the future.
We had classes about urban sprawl given by Dr. Jan Brueckner, they were so interesting because he presented diverse kinds of models to show the significance of controlling, in some extent, the dispersion of cities.
One of the most interesting lectures was with Dr. Jacques Thisse who talked about one document that he wrote together with Venables. The model is very useful especially for planners since it shows how they can lead to an efficient distribution of the cities and the matters about land prices, showing how some of the taxes that government uses to impose are ineffective to the goal they want to achieve.
On other line of studies, Dr. Geoffrey Caruso and Dr. Pierre Frankhauser presented important perspectives and uses of the fractal analysis, which could be a very good tool which complements density analysis for planning purposes.
The last day we had some classes with Dr. Jean-Claude Thill who works as an editor in different journals, thus he gave us important advices to publish our work, and moreover he showed us that this is a hard working process rather than a lucky issue.
Summarising I can say that ERSA summer school is one of the best experiences that I have had in my research experience, moreover all of us could live the spillovers effects confirming again that the proximity and, in consequence, the space matters for research and development in the regions. At the same time now we have a bigger network in the world, we had the opportunity to share our work with other people receiving very good advices from other students and researchers.
In some extent the conferences organised by RSA or ERSA every year attempts to get this kind of results, but in this case as we were less people sharing 10 days together the relationship and knowledge about the work of each other was more intensive.
A big thank to the RSA for your support!