Anais De Keijser CV -

Anais De Keijser

Anais De Keijser has been working on her doctoral thesis at the Fachgebiet Entwerfen und Stadtentwicklung since January, 2015. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Architectural Engineering from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and a Master's degree in International Cooperation and Urban Development from the Technical University of Darmstadt. In parallel to writing her PhD, Anais is also working as the Program Manager of the international Masters on International Cooperation in Urban Development at the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University of Darmstadt. She is an urban researcher focusing on issues of social justice in infrastructure development, post-colonial theory, decentralised resilience in addition to reflections on housing of arrival within different geographical contexts.

PhD Project

Urban Justice in Service Provision: Household Water Access and Disposal in Bujumbura, Burundi

Household access to- and disposal of- water is one of the main building blocks of a well functioning society. Sadly, these services remain absent, unaffordable, or of inadequate quality for many of the world’s urban populations. This is the case for many households of Bujumbura, where service provision is not as much a question of passive reception as one of active co-provision. Households are actively involved in finding ways to extend the service, creating alternatives, and developing coping strategies through which they try to ensure water can be accessed and disposed off adequately. Without this active involvement of households the state through its public utilities would be unable to reliably provide these services to the city’s urban population. Numerous factors have become challenges in the provision of public services. This includes: the pollution of the resource and the environment; high levels of poverty relating to affordability of provided services; and a high degree of infrastructure failures. Within this context, the concept of system-D describes fend-for-yourself approaches that have become crucial in the provision of such services. Planners working in such contexts have to understand such processes in the working of urban systems, as well as the ethical implications they carry. Based on the assumed need for a normative ethical approach to planning this work engages with urban justice debate through an analytical framework developed by a post-colonial translation of the Susan Fainstein’s (2010) Just City concept. Through this analytical framework a multi-scalar analysis seeks to evaluate equity, diversity, and democracy in the case of household water access and disposal in Bujumbura. Based on this evaluation, action-oriented guidelines are formulated that can contribute in steering the ethical development of the service provision.

Key words

Water and Sanitation, Infrastructure- & Service- Provision, Informality, Bujumbura, Post-Colonial Theory, Urban Justice, Just City, Equity, Diversity, Democracy

University Studies and Degrees

Since 01/2015 Doctoral Studies(Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany)
09/2012-07/2014 Master of Sience in ‘International Cooperation and Urban Development’(Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany)
09/2009-08/2012 Bachelor of Science, Architectural Engineering(Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium)

Professional Experiences

Since 09/2014 Programme Manager of the Mundus Urbano Masters Program, Darmstadt, Germany
Since 07/2017 Co-Founder of the Namahoro Investment Group
05/2013-08/2014 Student Research Assistant, Fachgebiet Raum- und Infrastrukturplanung in project ‘Translating Urban Infrastructure ideals: adaptation and creativity in water and sanitation systems in African cities’
09/2013-08/2014 International Tutor at the Faculty of Architecture
07/2012-08/2012 Logistics at Mondial Relay, an international delivery company, Brussels, Belgium

Scholarships and Awards

2014 – 2017 Research and Travel Grants – IPID4all / DAAD
Mar 2010 Public Prize of the BEST European Engineering Competition (EBEC)
May 2009 BBC Public Speaking Award – Semi Finalist


  • Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP)
  • Graduate School for Urban Studies (URBANgrad), Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • Urban Infrastructures in Transition (Afrika Kolleg), Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • UN-Habitat's partnership with universities Worldwide (UNI)
  • Mentoring Hessen (SciMento)
  • Network-Association of European Researchers on Urbanisation in the South (N-AERUS)
  • Alumni of the Board of European Students of Technology (BEST)
  • Alumni of Pantheon (now Bru-tecture)


  • A. De Keijser (2017), Rethinking the Governance of Household Water Supply in Bujumbura: Analysing Informality through a Just City Lens, plaNext – next generation planning Issue 5, DOI:10.24306/plnxt.2017.05002, AESOP.
  • A. De Keijser (2017), Analysing ‘fend for yourself’ approaches to urban infrastructure provision and maintenance: Resilience and System-D the case of surface water drainage in Bujumbura, B, Hekmati (Eds.) in «Towards Urban Resilience», TU Prints.
  • A. De Keijser (2016), System-D in Bujumbura: The resourcefulness of users in daily practices of urban water provision, conference proceedings: N-AERUS XVII: Governing, Planning, and Managing the city in an uncertain world. Comparative perspectives on everyday practices (Göteborg, Sweden), AESOP.
  • A. De Keijser (2014), Co-production and informality in the Water Supply System of Dar es Salaam, Thesis for: Master of Science in International Cooperation and Urban Development, Advisor: Prof. Dr. Jochen Monstadt, Dr. Ing. Sophie Schramm, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.36316.49284.

Talks and Conferences

Oct 2017 AESOP Executive Comittee Meeting (Venice, Italy)
Jul 2017 AESOP Executive Comity Meeting (Venice, Italy)
Jul 2017 SPT 2017: The Grammar of Things (Darmstadt, Germany)
May 2017 Research Hub: Towards Urban Resilience (Barcelona, Spain)
Apr 2017 Planning and Entrepreneurship: Planning and Public Policy at the Intersection of Top-down and Bottom-up Action (Munich, Germany)
Apr 2017 Annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) (Boston, USA)
Feb 2017 To make a place – stakes and forms of migrant shelter in Grenoble, (Grenoble, France) Student Supervision
Nov 2016 Governing, Planning and managing the city in an uncertain world (Gothenburg, Sweden) Paper Presentation
Mar 2016 Spatial Governance Bridging Theory and Practice (Ghent, Belgium)
Mar 2016 Food Banking: an emergency response to the crisis in developed countries, (Barcelona, Spain) Student Supervision
Feb 2015 Changing the Urban Dynamics – implications for sustainable development in a post 2015 world, FAO, (Rome, Italy) Student Supervision


Summer Semester 2015, 2016 Discourse on Urbanisation

Winter Semester 2016-2017 European Cities

Summer Semester, 2015 Presentation Training

Winter Semester, 2017-2018 Academic Writing Training Week

In addition she has been involved in the planning and student supervision of different international workshops and excursions including:

2015 Workshop: Changing the Urban Dynamics – implications for sustainable development in a post 2015 world, FAO, Rome, Italy

2015 Excursion: The Urban Transformations of Belgrade, Serbia

2016 Workshop: Food banking: an emergency response to the crisis in developed countries, Barcelona, Spain

2016 Excursion: The Urban Transformations of Athens, Greece

2017 Workshop: To make a place – stakes and forms of migrant shelter in Grenoble, Grenoble, France

2018 Excursion: The Urban Transformations of Brussels, Belgium (in preparation)

2018 Workshop: Feeding the Cities: promoting food security and nutrition in an urbanizing world, FAO, Rome, Italy