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Isti Hidayati wins 2020 Wierenga-Rengerink Thesis Prize

29 June 2021
Isti Hidayati

The Wierenga-Rengerink Prize for the UG PhD student with the best dissertation of 2020 has been awarded to Isti Hidayati for her thesis, entitled ‘Understanding mobility inequality: A socio-spatial approach to analyse transport and land use in Southeast Asian metropolitan cities’. On Thursday 1 July 2021, the researcher of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences will be awarded the prize of €7,500 for further academic development. The award ceremony will take place during the Summer Ceremony, the official end of the academic year.

Mobility Inequality

In December 2020, Hidayati completed her thesis defense with cum laude distinction. She wrote her dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Claudia Yamu and Prof. Ronald Holzhacker. ‘Understanding mobility inequality’ is a study aimed at rapidly urbanizing areas in Southeast Asia, where access to essential socio-economic facilities such as jobs, education and health care are unequally distributed over different income groups and genders. In her thesis, Isti Hidayati offers social-spatial insights into mobility inequality through empirical case studies in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, as typical examples of large cities in Southeast Asia. Conclusion: Social practices and spatial configurations influence how mobility inequality manifests itself in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, in the form of marginalization of pedestrians and the dependence on private vehicles in a society that is built around the car.

Mixed methods

The study is unique in its eclectic use of different research methods. Usually, research conducted within one field focuses on theoretical debate but Hidayati predominantly offers a practical view on systemic and individual mobility inequality. By looking at statistical data, ethnographic studies and spatial morphological analyses, she offers concrete evidence that could contribute to the design of spatial policy in the large Asian metropolises.

Wierenga-Rengerink Thesis Prize

The thesis prize has been awarded since 2015 to the PhD student who, according to the jury, has written the best thesis of the UG in the previous year. Every faculty nominates one candidate, choosing from the theses that have been awarded the cum laude distinction by that faculty and, from this selection, the jury, comprising the Rector and former Rector of the UG, chooses the final winner. The Wierenga-Rengerink family makes the prize money available through the Ubbo Emmius Fund. Previously, the award went to Namkje Koudenburg (2014), Hanna van Loo (2015), Nigel Hamilton and Jordi van Gestel (2016), Alain Dekker (2017), Michael Lerch (2018) and Arpi Karapetian (2019).

Last modified:30 June 2021 1.00 p.m.
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