I have travelled to Rio de Janeiro and undertaken two activities. On the one hand, I presented two different papers (i.e. public space and urban resilience) and organised one PhD workshop regarding my research topic (i.e. Walkability in Contemporary Chinese Cities) in the IV World Planning School Congress. On the other hand, to make it a more fruitful trip, I went on a field trip alongside, studying walking experience across international cities. In this sense, this trip was a proper combination of a theoretical discussion among a broader academic community and a practical action to enhance my case studies.
The conference engaged a lot of researchers to present their work and debate the latest stream of urban studies. Since some studies and presentations were similar with my research field, I established an initial research network based on the collective aim of improving walkability. Furthermore, this conference was useful to expand my skills and knowledge base. In light of my current stage (i.e. 1st year PhD), I learned some research methods and various perspectives on walkability.
Moreover, there was a valuable opportunity to explore the city of Rio de Janeiro, and thereby, enhanced the case studies of my doctoral research in terms of various socio-economic contexts. It was a fantastic experience and impacted my mind. For instance, I experienced the local party and famous slums with the local researchers. I could not image that how dangerous behind the peaceful urban image if the local researchers did not tell me. I also could not image that how happy local people regarding their everyday life. For example, we attended the ‘harvest holiday’ festival and danced with local residents. Although I could not communicate with them, their gestures and attitude were attractive and understandable, which express happiness from their heart.
I sincerely appreciate this opportunity. I would like to thank the funding of Go Abroad. I was not only learning and experiencing from this trip but also presented my work and organised a workshop on behalf of our university, which engaged other similar studies across the world and established an initial network for my further research.