What do you like about the programme/specialisation and why? How has the programme/specialisation challenged you (in relation to your previous education)?
What I like about the European Spatial and Environmental Planning specialisation, is that it recognises some of the fundamental challenges of our time through various spatial lenses. Additionally, it provides plenty of room for customisation through elective courses and the optional 'dual mode' programme. I have always had international ambitions and an interest in European policies. Yet at the same time, I recognise that understanding how these policies relate to local systems is equally, if not more important. My Bachelor's in Landscape Architecture and Spacial Planning at the WUR sparked my enthousiasm for sustainable transition-management. The fact that transitions require the customisation and scaling-up of sustainable alternatives across all spatial scales, made this specialisation a clearcut choice for me.
What do you think about the atmosphere in class (for example the relationship between students and with the teachers/researchers)?
This specialisation is probably the smallest in class-size. In my year, there were only 3 other students following the same specialisation. This does create a sense of kinship with your fellow classmates. We would sometimes go for drinks after class and were more likely to group up together for projects. Yet don't let the small numbers discourage you, as most of the courses do overlap with the other Spatial Planning specialisations. Therefore you will most likely see a much larger group of students on a regular basis.
What do you find most challenging in your Master’s (specialisation)? Have you encountered any obstacles?
Depending on the courses you choose, you might feel a bit of pressure during the examination periods, yet this is definitely manageble if you plan ahead. I participated in the 'dual mode' programme, through which I did an half-year internship at Witteveen+Bos. This was perhaps the steepest learning curve I have experienced, yet I would highly recommend it to anyone. The knowledge and experience I gained during this period are invaluable to me.
Are you currently doing an internship? Or what is your thesis about?
I'm currently in the final stage of my second internship at a spatial consultancy in the heart Nijmegen, Pouderoyen Tonnear. Here, I am writing my thesis on transition pathways for heat stress adaptation through data-driven design.
Why do you think is it important that there are people out there with this degree? What are your plans once have received your Master's degree?
I think it is important to always consider the bigger picture in what we decide to do today and how this relates to tomorrow. Especially in a field as consequential as spatial planning. This specialisation encourages critical thinking and debate on the implications of spatial policy choices. Whether that be ethical, environmental, social or technical. Once I finish my degree I plan on joining one of the larger Dutch spatial consultancies to advance my professional experience in the field of transition-management.