Dear colleagues of the Spanish Regional Science Association (AECR), Dear friends of Regional Science
First, on behalf of the Executive Committee and myself, thank you again for the faith you have shown in entrusting us with the leadership of the AECR over the next four years. We hope that, together with the network of Territorial Associations, we can strengthen the Spanish Association and continue to promote studies and research in the field of urban and regional science. Our goal is to consolidate the activities so far have been developed and initiate others that allow our partners to provide increased opportunities for training, promotion and dissemination of its activities related to the Regional Science and Urban activities.
The AECR is a very powerful Association, which represents one of the most numerous international groups that analyzed the Regional Science. But let me ask your collaboration, both participating in our activities (annual Congress, submitting articles to our journal Investigaciones Regionales/Journal of Regional Research, contributions to the blog of the Association … and why not, looking to attract new partners to it!). We will be stronger if we increase the number of partners and we participate more in the AECR activities.
The three main assets around which the work of the AECR is built are undoubtedly the annual autumn congress, the Association’s journal Investigaciones Regionales/Journal of Regional Research, and its involvement in the activities carried out by the European Regional Science Association (ERSA) and the Regional Science Association International (RSAI).
With regard to the Annual Congress, we shall endeavour to maintain – and, where possible, increase – the quality of the papers presented. This will be achieved through fluid contact with the Local Organizing Committee to coordinate the planning and organization of the event. The Scientific Committee also has a key role in guaranteeing the quality of the material presented and the overall level of scientific excellence of the event. To make the Congress more attractive, we must secure the participation of leading national and international experts in regional science, to moderate debates and to intervene in special sessions and plenary sessions. It is also absolutely essential to give young researchers the opportunity to present their first studies at our meetings so that their contributions to the field can be considered and discussed by more experienced researchers.
With regard to Investigaciones Regionales, we will maintain our policy of giving its director, Dr. John R. Cuadrado Roura, and the Editorial Board complete autonomy over the running of the journal. The Executive Committee will give all the necessary support to place Investigaciones Regionales among the foremost Spanish-language publications in the field of urban and regional science. Efforts will also be made to have the journal listed in major bibliometric databases – in particular the ISI-JCR – to ensure that it is positively valued by institutional review committees and classification boards and to increase access to funding through agreements with government offices and foundations. Finally, we will strive to make the journal better known in the national and international research communities.
With regard to our relationship with the ERSA and RSAI, we aim to strengthen ties and to increase our participation in the various activities these associations carry out, to promote the interests of our members. The newly created Latin American Meetings of Regional Science, the first of which was held in September 2012 and attended by AECR members, should enable us to establish a more extensive relationship with other Latin American researchers.
We believe that, in addition to these activities, we must continue to grow and to promote the creation of new actions. Among our proposals are the creation of an AECR Summer School, a programme of workshops on regional science research, the strengthening of relationships with government offices, the hosting of activities for the ERSA and RSAI and for regional associations from neighbouring countries, increased efforts to enhance the multidisciplinary focus of regional science, and greater fluidity in the exchange of information related to research in regional science. We must also work to facilitate the exchange of information between our members and with all those interested in urban and regional science, and to give greater visibility to activities carried out in the framework of the Association through new channels including social networks.
To achieve these goals, we will continue to rely on the active involvement of all association members and on the work of the Regional Associations, with whom we intend to work as a single unit with common aims.
To conclude, in keeping with the open and dynamic nature of the AECR, the Executive Committee will welcome suggestions of any type from all of its members and from the members of sister associations. Therefore, as of this moment, we are open to new ideas and will give due consideration to all suggestions to facilitate their implementation. Our aim is be a channel through which the initiatives proposed by our partners can be made real.
We must work together to showcase the vital role of the AECR in laying down guidelines and making decisions that help build better regions, to make the AECR a leading organization within the society it serves.
Barcelona, 14 June 2012.
Jordi Suriñach i Caralt
President of the AECR.