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The Focus-Abengoa Foundation awards the Prize for the Best Doctoral Thesis on a Sevillian Theme 2010

December 22, 2010

  • The author, Francisco José Torres Gutiérrez, focused his work on describing and explaining the phenomena related to inequality, urban segregation and social exclusion.
  • The research work entitled “Urban Segregation and Social Exclusion in Seville. The Polígono Sur paradigm” aims to contribute to our understanding of the social and territorial situation of the city of Seville.

Seville, 22 December 2010. Francisco José Torres Gutiérrez has been awarded the 2010 prize for best doctoral thesis on a Sevillian subject for his study entitled “Urban Segregation and Social Exclusion in Seville. The Polígono Sur paradigm”. The award, which has been presented by the Focus-Abengoa Foundation since 1983, is endowed with a financial award of 3,000 Euros, and the work is also published in order to promote it and to generate as much social recognition as possible.

The jury for the event, chaired by Santiago Grisolía, the executive president of the Rey Jaime I awards and a trustee of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, highlighted “the scientific quality and diligence of the work, which makes an important contribution in terms of geography, and exclusion and marginalisation”. The jury also recognised Torres Gutiérrez’ ability to “combine his different hypotheses, focusing on several conclusions based on the dynamic complex of the different town planning, social, economic and political phenomena”. In short, “a study that lays the foundations for proposals that could be worked on in the future”.

Through his work, Francisco José Torres Gutiérrez has tried to use well-founded arguments to address the theories that base the origin of inequality on individual factors and that claim that the poor are responsible for their own precarious situation. Furthermore, he also examines the role that space plays in the development of urban inequality, explaining how the successive valuation and appropriation of land by different social groups and people generates situations of inequality.

Appointed by the trustees of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, the jury of the 27th edition comprised Antonio Miguel Bernal Rodríguez, president of the Academic Council of the UIMP-Seville and professor of the School of Economic Institutions and History of the University of Seville; Francisco Javier Fernández, senior lecturer of the Department of Economics, Quantitative Methods and Economic History at the Universidad Pablo Olavide; Francisco García Novo, head of the Department of Plant Biology and Ecology at the University of Seville; Alfonso Pleguezuelo, head of the Department of History of Fine Arts of the University of Seville; Ramón Queiro, head of the Department of Town and Territorial Planning of the College of Architecture at the University of Seville, and Guillermo Rodríguez-Izquierdo, Superior Provincial of the Province of Roman-Andalusia of the Company of Jesus.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation awards this prize to strengthen its commitment to the training of individuals as part of its on-going work to promote study, to support research and to recognise activities that are associated with these fields.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was created in 1982 as a result of the cultural work begun in 1972 by Abengoa with the publication of the works Temas Sevillanos (Themes of Seville) and Iconografía de Sevilla (Iconography of Seville). A collection of documents, books and engravings on the Kingdom of Seville and by Sevillian authors was created during the same period. This initial cultural work showed Abengoa’s directors the importance of the company’s involvement in activities that directly benefit society, beyond its core technology-based work, and this led to the creation of the Seville Cultural Fund Foundation. The Hospital de los Venerables, a 17th century monument and the headquarters of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation in Seville, has housed the Diego Velázquez Research Centre, a leading institution for studying and disseminating the Baroque era and the Sevillian period of this universally renowned artist, following the acquisition of Velázquez’s Santa Rufina by the Foundation in 2007.

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