Leonie van Beek is from the Netherlands where she completed a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the NHTV Breda University of Professional Education, and a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at Wageningen University. After completing her degrees, she worked for a consultancy and design company focusing on landscape architecture and urban planning in the Netherlands.
Sustainable urban settlements; past, present and future
After finishing my studies (resp. bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning and master’s degree in Landscape Architecture) I have been working in the professional field for 3,5 years in the Netherlands. As a landscape architect, I am aware of the environment we are living in and feel it is my responsibility to create a healthy living environment, for this generation and future generations. Through my work I want to enhance the awareness of people regarding the impact of their land usage on the living environment. During my work I recognized my limited knowledge and influence in this global challenge towards sustainability. To get a broader view on how sustainable design can be implemented I decided to pursue the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development.
The multi-disciplinary MPhil course offered by the Centre for Sustainable Development has been a great experience which has been of great benefit to my personal and professional knowledge and skills. With this course my perspective on and knowledge of sustainable development has increased immensely due to the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge of the course. Also, the Cambridge environment contributed with its variety of seminars, discussion groups and societies and through its multi-cultural atmosphere.
My MPhil dissertation offered the opportunity to critically review and assess the implementation of sustainability in my professional field. This has been a very useful experience with many applicable lessons for my professional career. I am looking forward to go back into the professional field after graduation and thus to get the opportunity to implement and exchange the principles of sustainable development.