by darribas

If there is something of interest for the greater public in the dissertation I defended last monday, that is the acknowledgements section. I wrote that last june when I finished the draft and will not add much now, other than explicitly mentioning they are completely honest, they reflect only real feelings (with the exception of the funding institution). I will paste them without any further editting, just as they appear in the manuscript.

This document comprises most of the work I have carried out as a PhD. student during the last four years. It has been a period of my life in which I have had the opportunity to meet, work and learn surrounded by a group of people I feel priviledged for being able tocall friends. Some of them were known; some others appeared down the road that has taken me through different situations, continents and institutions; all of them have collaborated, one way or another, to make this dissertation exist today.

First, it deserves special mention my supervisor, Fernando Sanz-Gracia. Over this time, both personally and through a computer following me all around, his dedication and confidence in every moment, his complete willingness to, far from imposing, leave me make my own decissions and the certainty that, whatever the outcome, he would always be on my side, have made me succeed, and have turned the tutor-student relation into one of
true friendship.

This work would have not happened either without the love and inconditional support of my father Antonio, my mother Natividad and my brother Miguel, my grandparents Antonio, Mauricia, Maximiliano and Antonia, as well as the rest of my family, who have been able to understand my need to travel and constantly leave home, and have been a crucial pillar in the toughest times.

Besides my supervisor, Universidad de Zaragoza has given me the chance to get to know other people who, one way or another, have influenced me. I would like to thank: Marcos Sanso Navarro and Domingo Pérez Ximenez-de-Embún for showing me in the best possible way how a lot of things about the University no book can teach actually work; Marcos Sanso Frago and the rest of the ADETRE research group with whom I have interacted for their valuable comments and contributions; and the group of students who have passed by the Graduate Students Room 1 of the Faculty of Economics, with whom I have shared the experience to get ready a PhD. dissertation, for cheering up and making long days of work more bearable.

These four years have also seen me spend some time in other institutions abroad in which I have been lucky to meet people who have strongly influenced both my work and my person. I would like to thank: Luc Anselin and Sergio J. Rey for giving me the opportunity to spend 12 months at the GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation, in Tempe (USA), and for being a constant source of inspiration and guidance; Julia Koschinsky for the support given in both contexts academic and personal, as well as for understanding and sharing a common vision of the world, which has created a close friendship; and David Folch, Charles Schmidt, Nancy Lozano-Gracia and the rest of the center staff for kindly welcoming me and sharing so much knowledge with me. Within the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (Netherlands), I would like to thank: Peter Nijkamp and Henk Scholten for inconditionally opening me the Department of Spatial Economics and
SpinLab; Eric Koomen, Chris Jacobs, Chequita R. Bhikhi, Eva Gutiérrez-i-Puigarnau and Michiel Gerritse, as well as the rest of people I got to know during the months I spent in Amsterdam and who, one way or another, made my visit more productive and pleasant.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Ministry of Science and Innovation at the Spanish Government (SEJ2006-04893, AP20063563, ECO2009-09332 and FEDER funding) for the finnancial support.

I want to acknowledge the work and effort put, as well as to thank the free/libre and open source software international community, for showing me a new way to understand cooperative work and providing me with a set of tools without which this document would have not been possible.

I would also like to thank: my closest friends, the RK crew and all the people around the world who love me, for always reminding me who I am and accepting me as such; rap music and urban poetry for showing me the most human side of cities, my subject of study.

Finally, I want to dedicate this work to someone who will never read it: my grandfather, Maximiliano Arribas, who passed away on March 19th. 2010 while I was thousands of  kilometers away from home.

Daniel Arribas-Bel
Zaragoza, June 21st. 2010.