I would like to thank the Regional Studies Association for supporting my participation at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG). The awarded funds covered roundtrip airfare between Rio de Janeiro and San Francisco.
The annual meeting of the AAG is the largest international conference for geographers as well as non-geography scholars and professionals involved in the spatial sciences, urban studies, and development. While at the conference I was able to connect with both early career and established scholars in addition to journal editors from the USA, Latin America, and Europe.
My paper presentation, titled “Crises of landscape: urban segregation and ‘favela integration’ in Rio de Janeiro Brazil,” was based on an empirical chapter of my PhD thesis, and formed part of the four-part session titled “Emerging Themes in Landscape-Mobilities”. The objective of paper sessions and book panel was to build on decades of landscape studies using the emerging literature of mobilities. Presenters were asked to explore how landscapes are constituted by mobilities. The session was a good fit for my research, which argues that a new paradigm of urban planning emerging in Latin America (with Rio de Janeiro and Medellín at the forefront) stresses the “integration” of self-constructed neighborhoods (slums, favelas, or informal housing settlements) through the facilitation and regulation of flows of people, services, goods and capital in/out and within these spaces. Preparing for the presentation helped to organize my writing with clear arguments regarding theory, data analysis, and conclusions.
In addition to including RSA-formatted slides at the beginning of my presentation and verbal recognition of the association’s support, I made available RSA membership materials to interested individuals and encouraged other scholars–colleagues and new contacts I met at the event–to check out the extensive funding and publishing opportunities offered by the RSA and to consider joining the association