Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Pierre Bélanger has been honored PhD cum laude by Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Defended on May 13, 2013, at the historic AULA Auditorium, Bélanger's doctoral dissertation entitled Landscape Infrastructure: Urbanism beyond Engineering was presented before an audience of international scholars and practitioners in the fields of design, planning and engineering. His thesis argues for “the strategic design of ‘infrastructural ecologies,' a synthetic landscape of live, biophysical systems that operate as urban infrastructures to shape and direct the future of urban economies into the 21st century.”
Bélanger's Doctoral Review Committee and Academic Board representing Wageningen University included Professor Dr. Sabine Barles (Université Paris 1, France), Professor Dr. Kelly Shannon (AHO School of Architecture, Oslo, Norway),Professor Dr. Dirk Sijmons (TU Delft, The Netherlands), Professor Dr. Arnold van der Valk (Wageningen University, The Netherlands). Doctoral Advisor and Official Promoter for Professor Bélanger's doctoral research was Professor Dr. Jusuck Koh, Landscape Architect and Architect at Wageningen University's Landscape Architecture Group. Koh is U.S. Department of State Distinguished Scholar and Professor, Fulbright Distinguished Scholar of the United States, and was Ian McHarg's first PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Design in 1978.
Working together with governments and business communities, Wageningen University is one of the world's foremost life sciences university (with research in the plant, animal, environmental, agrotechnological, food and social sciences) dedicated to the creation of healthy, living environments. The rare and prestigious award of doctoral distinction, cum laude, is bestowed by the University for exceptional scholarship in the field of landscape architecture including the related social and ecological sciences, and conferred by the Vice Rector Magnificus, Bert Holtstag, Professor of Meteorology and Chair of Wageningen University's Meteorology and Air Quality Group.
For more information on the award, to download the full text of Bélanger's dissertation, or to watch the defence proceedings, please visit the Wageningen University and Research Centre website.