The goal of the 24th ERSA Summer School is to provide PhD-students and young researchers with advanced training in the field of urban modeling and particularly urban dynamics. In addition it is aimed at being an interactions platform where young researchers can present and discuss their own research with other young researchers and with more senior academics in the field. It is also a unique opportunity to prepare for a future research career in regional science, including enhancing publishing skills and developing an international network.

The Summer School is dedicated to a group of maximum 30 phD students and young researchers from all over Europe or beyond. The small size is intended to foster interactions among participants and lecturers and let every participant have the opportunity to discuss own research and related open questions with the others, whatever the current advancement of their work. The recognized international expertise of the guest lecturers will ensure that the best methodological and thematic hints will be provided.


According to UN evaluations, about half of mankind is living in cities, and this figure is still growing. The need to create sustainable cities is pressing in terms of both environmental (pollution, footprint,…) and social (segregation, social unrest, poverty) outcomes.

Urbanisation processes will be the thematic focus of the Summer School. Particular attention will be paid to the temporal dimension and the dynamics of urban patterns formation. The lectures will be revolving around the following items: urban sprawl, urban and periurban land use change, urban patterns formation, self-organisation of cities and networks of cities, emergence of sub-centres/edge-cities, cumulative effects, urbanisation and travel patterns, mitigation policies.

Emphasis will be set on models and empirical work that draw links with urban economic theory, economic geography, complex systems, agent-based simulations, or embed innovative spatial data analysis techniques.


The 24th ERSA Summer School is a joint organisation of the Geography and Spatial Planning Research Centre (Prof. Geoffrey Caruso) and the Center for Research in Economic Analysis (Prof. Luisito Bertinelli) of the University of Luxembourg.

The Summer School is sponsored by the European Investment Bank and the University of Luxembourg.

Detailed Program 2011 Summer School

Theprogram runs over 8 intense days of advanced lectures, students presentations and discussion.


About half of the program is made of theoretical and methodological lectures by experts of urban processes, economic or dynamic modeling, and spatial analysis. As of current planning the lectures include:

Guest lecturers

  • Jan Brueckner (University of California, Irvine, USA): Urban sprawl process and impacts
  • Pierre Frankhauser (University of Besançon, FR): Urban forms and mathematics of complexity
  • Miren Lafourcade (University Paris, FR)
  • Jean-Claude Thill (University of North Carolina, Charlotte, USA ): Spatial analysis of urban data
  • Jacques Thisse (CORE Université catholique de Louvain, BE): Urban structure and Inter-city trade.

Local lecturers

  • Geoffrey Caruso (University of Luxembourg, LU): Urban simulation with cellular automata and economic agents
  • Markus Hesse (University of Luxembourg, LU): Urban development, governance and sustainability, lessons from Belval
  • Pierre Picard (University of Luxembourg, LU): Agglomeration economies and the emergence of cities


The other half of the program is made of research seminars where students (being at an early stage or more advanced stage of their phD) will have the opportunity to present a part of their work in a rather extensive way (45 min each) and receive feedbacks from the other students and lecturers. Each phD student will be assigned another paper as discussant.


In addition to the lectures and seminars,

  • a special workshop (by Prof. Jean-Claude Thill) will focus on how to writepapers and get published in regional science academic journals.
  • a field trip will be conducted to the ongoing new urban development of Esch-Belval in the Southern part of the Grand Duchy1. This urban development is related to the creation of an innovation and science cluster, including the move of the University of Luxembourg. The urban concept and sustainability issues will be discussed.
  • A half day workshop will be hosted at the European Investment Bank (EIB) where urban related programs will be presented as well as the actions of the EIB towards R&D.


To complete the unique experience of this Summer School, there will be

  • Common meals which will be organised to foster communication among participants.
  • a leisure trip (most probably in the beautiful wine valley near Schengen).


This is information on the Lecturers who will be speaking at the Summer School and links to their websites.


  • Jan Brueckner2 is a Professor at the Dept. of Economics at the University of California, Irvine since 2005. He graduated from Standford University in 1976 and joined thereafter the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been visiting various universities in his career, in Europe, Asia and North America. His research interest have revolved around urban economics and public economics, industrial organization (notably Airline economics), housing finance among others. He has published about 100 papers in the most prestigious journals such as the Review of economics and Statistics, the American Economic Review, American Economic Journal etc. For 16 years, he has been the editor of the Journal of Urban Economics, and he has served on the editorial board of a number of other renowned scientific journals, such as Regional Science and Urban Economics, Journal of Housing Economics, Journal of Public Economic Theory.
  • Pierre Frankhauser3 is Professor of Geography and Urban Planning at the Université de Franche-Comté (France). He is head of the research team "Mobility-City-Transport" of the Research-Institute ThéMA (Theory and Models for Urban and Regional Planning), which associates the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Universities of Franche-Comté and of Bourgogne. Pierre Frankhauser studied first physics and was involved in interdisciplinary research projects concerning complexity and self-organization processes in social sciences. This was also the starting point for using fractal geometry for modeling and analyzing urban patterns and transportation networks which is still one of his research topics. Other research domains are modeling of urban dynamics, the formalization of choice and decision-making processes as well as the development of concepts and decision support sytems of sustainable urban development based on a fractal approach.
  • Miren Lafourcade4 is Professor and head of the Economics Department of the University of Paris-Sud 11, and Research associate at the Paris School of Economics (France). She holds a phd (1998) from University of Paris I- Sorbonne. Her research interests are linked with economic geography, international trade and transport economics and more recently with urban sprawl. Miren Lafourcade is also associate editor of the Journal of Regional Science.
  • Jean-Claude Thill5 holds a M.Sc. in Spatial Planning from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, and a Doctorate in Geography from the same institution. He is the Knight Distinguished Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Professor Thill’s research focuses on the spatial dimensions of socio-economic organizations, particularly the interfacing between transportation and mobility systems, and urban land use, urban forms and functions. During his career, he has authored or co-authored over a hundred publications. He is the Editor-in- Chief of Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, Associate Editor of Geographical Analysis, and GIScience Area Editor of Networks and Spatial Economics. He has served as Executive Director of the North American Regional Science Council, a branch of the Regional Science Association International, since 2005. He has recently been elected Vice-President and President-Elect of the Regional Science Association International. He is on the editorial board of a number of regional, national, and international journals in the fields of geography, GIScience, regional science, and spatial planning. He holds leadership positions in the Center for Transportation Policy Studies, the Infrastructure, Design, Environment and Sustainability (IDEAS) Center, and the Center for Applied GIScience, and the Center for the Study of the New South at UNC Charlotte.
  • Jacques Thisse6 graduated in mathematics and economics at the University of Liège and was awarded the doctorate in 1975. He may be one of the most productive and distinguished regional scientist of his generation. He has developed original insights about the importance of space in human behavior in a broad variety of applications, including industrial organization, regional economic development, urban economics, international trade, game theory, public finance, and public choice. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Montreal, the university of Paris II Pantheon-Assas, and the École Normale Supérieure de Cachan. He is also the author or editor of fifteen books and several hundred scientific papers – works which have been published in the most important scientific journals in the world.


  • Luisito Bertinelli7 is Associate Professor at the University of Luxembourg since 2003. He graduated in International Economic Relations (Sciences Po Paris, 1999) and got a PhD in Economics from the Université Catholique de Louvain. He made several scientific visits at the University of Tokyo, Kyoto and California (Irvine) and at CERAS (National School of the Highways Departments, Paris). His research is centered around regional and urban economics, but also concerns environmental and development issue. Recently, his research interest has been focusing on the socio-economic consequences of climate factors, in particular but not exclusively in developing areas.
  • Geoffrey Caruso8 is Associate Professor in GIS and Spatial Analysis at the University of Luxembourg since 2007. He completed a PhD in Geographical Science from the University of Louvain (2005). He was then research associate at the Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies of the University of Cambridge (UK) and at CORE (University of Louvain). His research focuses on understanding the emergence of spatial structures and dynamics, especially the analysis and modelling of urban forms using simulation models and urban economics. He is also involved in GIS and Geovisualisation research projects.
  • Markus Hessehttp://wwwen.uni.lu/research/flshase/laboratoire_de_geographie_et_amenagement_du_territoire/staff/markus_hesse is Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Luxembourg since 2008. Prior to his Chair in Luxembourg, he was Associate Professor at the Free University of Berlin, Institute for Geographical Science. He obtained a PhD in Spatial Planning at the University of Dortmund. As an urban and economic geographer, his research interest is clustered around three different scientific angles: cities and regions; economic networks and flows; and metropolitan governance, policy and planning.
  • Professor Pierre M. Picard9 graduated as a civil engineer at the University of Louvain and worked thereafter in the telecom industry. He obtained a M.B.A. at the Katholiek Universiteit van Leuven (1994) and completed a Ph.D. in Management Science and Economics at the University of Louvain (1998). He has been an invited lecturer at the University of Louvain, University of Namur and University of Liège, and is presently affiliated at the University of Luxembourg where he teaches Industrial Organization, Regional Economics and Public Economics. His research interests linked to the fields of public economics, industrial organization, spatial and regional economics and economic geography.


Call for participants

Call for participants to the 24th ERSA Summer School 2011, is now CLOSED


The European Regional Science Association is offering the opportunity to participate in the 24th ERSA Summer School that will be held July 4th - July 13th 2011 at the University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg.

The event is funded by the European Investment Bank and the University of Luxembourg.


ERSA is looking for participants with the following characteristics:

  • PhD students or junior researchers with less than 10 years experience
  • research interests in the topics of the Summer School
  • serious intentions for entering a research career


  • Participants will be selected by the local organizing committee primarily according to the above mentioned criteria.
  • A motivation letter, plus CV and extended abstract of working paper should be sent by the applicants (see How to Apply details).
  • In addition to these criteria, the organizers will look for an international mix of participants.
  • The number of participants is limited to 30.


A registration fee of EUR 200 shall be paid to ERSA via a debit note that will be sent to you by email. The costs of the programme and of local accommodation of participants will be covered by the Summer School.

The travel expenses from their home countries to Luxembourg and back have to be covered by the participants.


Participants in the Summer School in 2011 are expected to participate in a workshop in August 2012 that will be held during the 2012 ERSA congress in Bratislava, Slovakia.


First, please prepare one document in PDF format that includes the following information:

  1. first and last name
  2. date of diploma giving access to doctoral studies in the country in which the diploma was obtained,
  3. current status and affiliation,
  4. motivation letter,
  5. a scientific CV,
  6. a short description of previous and current research work,
  7. a short description of career plans,
  8. a recommendation letter from PhD supervisor or research director
  9. title and short abstract (10 lines) of intended presentation
  10. Extended abstract (minimum 4 pages) of the work to be presented


  • Deadline for the application is now CLOSED.
  • Acceptance letter and registration debit note will be sent as from the May 20th, 2011
  • Final acceptance is subject to registration fees payment. Payments should be received by June 6th, 2011
  • Students are expected to send an updated extended abstract or longer working paper to ERSA and one discussant (another participant whose contact email will be provided by ERSA) by the 15th of June so as to make the research seminars as beneficial as possible.



  • D. Arribas-Bel
  • L. Bartolomucci
  • D. Broitman
  • J. Cerda
  • L. Cocconelli
  • E. Ellder
  • M. Fremond
  • M. Gerritse
  • M-L. Glaesener
  • C.I. Ibarra Armenta
  • M. Iraqui
  • J. Jones
  • Y. Kantor
  • N. Lachance-Bernard
  • M. Le Texier
  • S. Levy
  • J. Masip Tresserra
  • M. Mohammad
  • S. Pavleas
  • O. Pavlinova
  • D. Pérez Ximénez-de-Embún
  • N. Shchberbakova
  • T. Soylu
  • K. Szkudlarek
  • T. Vandyck
  • J. Zhu
  • 1. see www.belval.lu
  • 2. http://www.socsci.uci.edu/%7Ejkbrueck/
  • 3. http://thema.univ-fcomte.fr/?lang=en
  • 4. http://www.pse.ens.fr/lafourcade/
  • 5. http://geoearth.uncc.edu/Full-Time-Faculty/thill-jean-claude.html
  • 6. http://www.core.ucl.ac.be/staff/thisse.html
  • 7. http://wwwfr.uni.lu/layout/set/print/recherche/fdef/crea/team/luisito_bertinelli
  • 8. http://wwwen.uni.lu/studies/flshase/master_in_spatial_development_and_analysis_academique/geoffrey_caruso
  • 9. http://wwwen.uni.lu/research/fdef/crea/team/pierre_picard