Science - July 10, 2008

Landscape architecture student wins prize

Tomas Degenaar, a student of Landscape Architecture at Wageningen University, won second prize in the International Landscape Architecture Student Competition 2008 held by the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA). The prestigious prize worth 2,500 dollars was awarded for his project ‘Landscape architecture for need/slums’.

Computer graphic of Tomas Degenaar’s prize winning project ‘Landscape architecture for need/slums’
Degenaar showed how landscape architects can add value to the lives of slum dwellers in Bangladesh by helping to transform those slums into more sustainable, solid residential neighbourhoods. The jury wrote in its report: ‘Degenaar's project underlines the ethical responsibility of landscape architecture to tackle difficult issues’. Degenaar received his prize during the IFLA Congress, held at the start of July, which was held this year as part of the Apeldoorn Landscape Architecture Triennale. ‘I’m really pleased and the whole chair group was completely euphoric,’ said the student.

Three of Degenaar’s fellow students were also nominated out of the 380 submissions: Jaap van der Salm and Rens Wijnakker for their project on how sustainable water management can contribute to spatial quality, and Sabine van Ruijven for her project on water problems in the Netherlands. Despite being nominated, these contributions did not win prizes. This year twice as many entries were submitted to the competition, and over half were from Chinese students.