Graduate School of Social Sciences

Students

Urban and Regional Planning (MSc)

'My decision to study Urban and Regional Planning at the UvA was rather circumstantial. Initially, I was attracted to Amsterdam, on the one hand, for its pleasant and diverse scenery, and, on the other, for its bicycle culture. Only later did I realize that the Dutch have a long history in planning; indeed, the Netherlands as a whole is an engineered system. Coming from the seemingly untamed landscapes of Switzerland, this idea strikes me as unique.' Read Amanda Eyer's story about Urban and Regional Planning.

Amanda Eyer

My name is Amanda Eyer and I come from Switzerland. A rich sequence of images arises when reflecting on my academic year at the UvA: Chatting with fellow students at the picnic of the Master introduction meeting; leaving a class wide-eyed and enlightened after a dazzling lecture; heatedly discussing a ‘planning’ topic during a coffee break; cycling around the city desperately trying to find an altered location of a course; studying far into the night at the main library with the company of countless other students; and slowly formulating the research question of my thesis during the conversations with my supervisor.

'The course Innovative international planning practices represented an undeniable highlight, taking place in an unconventional setting in the outskirts of Amsterdam, particularly suited to the theme addressed by the lectures: Modernism'

I never perceived my human geography background as a disadvantage. Yet, the programme’s focus on urban strategic projects, planning methods and practices – plus, in my specific case, GIS and a course centering on urban social challenges – was new to me. I highly appreciated the open format of most courses and enjoyed the interplay of Dutch scenarios and international case studies which shaped the study programme. Here in, the course Innovative international planning practices represented an undeniable highlight, taking place in an unconventional setting in the outskirts of Amsterdam, particularly suited to the theme addressed by the lectures: Modernism. Such configurations repeatedly gave me the impression that we Master students were not only taken seriously, but also stimulated to think critically, independently and differently.

'Although completing the thesis may be arduous, its achievement only represents a stepping stone into the even more challenging world of the urban planner'

My understanding of complex urban issues and multifaceted policy questions has undoubtedly been enhanced, as well as my ability to grasp and communicate a diversity of topics relating to the city. These competences, I feel, culminate in the Master’s thesis, a demanding and challenging task we were well prepared for. Although completing the thesis may be arduous, its achievement only represents a stepping stone into the even more challenging world of the urban planner. 

Published by  GSSS

Graduate School of Social Sciences

17 February 2016