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dr. ir. C.J. (Christien) Klaufus

Faculty of Humanities
Photographer: Luisa Machacón

Visiting address
  • Roetersstraat 33
  • Room number: 103
Postal address
  • Roetersstraat 33
    1018 WB Amsterdam
  • Research program: Deathscapes in Latin American Metropolises

    Societies worldwide are urbanizing at high speed. In 2050 almost 70 percent of the world population is projected to be urban. Advancing the planning of sustainable urban land use is an urgent theme. Infrastructure has to be provided to 6.4 billion people. This means that water, electricity and sewage systems will have to be improved and smarter mass transport systems to be developed. One of the basic human necessities not explicitly addressed in urban theories and policy prospects is the need for sufficient dignified spaces for dead disposal and commemoration, in other words ‘deathscapes’. The right to a dignified final destination is a basic human right. Yet, as part of the urban infrastructure, deathscapes tend to be developed rather haphazardly.

    Two tendencies increase the need for more knowledge on urban deathscapes, and hence, for an integrated field of deathscape studies: first, the demographic transition underway in several regions that will result in an aging population; and second, the intention formulated in the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, specifically in Goal 11 to build more compact and high-density cities. Higher population densities in cities urge us to find more space-efficient solutions for dead disposal too. In practice, this will arguably result in an increasing separation between disposal spaces and commemoration spaces.

    As one of the most urbanized regions in the world, Latin America figures prominently in the urban studies literature. In order to be better prepared for rapid urbanization processes taking place in other regions of the Global South, Latin American models are often used to exemplify desired and undesired policy outcomes. However, information about the development and transformation of urban deathscapes in Latin America is remarkably scarce, especially in comparison to the large amount of studies that have addressed deathscapes in Asian cities (e.g. Kong, 2012; Tan and Yeoh, 2002; Teather et al., 2001; Tremlett, 2007).

    This interdisciplinary program aims to provide a grounded understanding of the ways in which deathscapes in cities have been developed in the recent past as part of urban space and society, and the ways in which they would need to be developed to safeguard socially and environmentally sustainable urban futures. The program considers the urban deathscape to be a relevant locus for research on cities and, vice versa, it posits that the future of cities depends in part on the question how the ‘cities of the living’ find new forms of co-existence with the ‘cities of the dead’; how deathscapes can potentially be or become formative sites of conviviality for the city at large. Planning and governing deathscapes in high-density urban areas touches upon a myriad of pressing themes that are integrally addressed in this project.

  • Publications


    • van Noorloos, F., Klaufus, C. J., & Steel, G. (2018). Land in urban debates: Unpacking the grab–development dichotomy. Urban Studies. DOI: 10.1177/0042098018789019 
    • Klaufus, C. (2018). Cemetery Modernisation and the Common Good in Bogotá. Bulletin of Latin American Research, 37(2), 206-221. DOI: 10.1111/blar.12599  [details] 
    • Klaufus, C. (2018). Colombian deathscapes: Social practices and policy responses. Journal of Urban Affairs, 40(2), 209. DOI: 10.1080/07352166.2017.1319220  [details] 


    • Klaufus, C., van Lindert, P., van Noorloos, F., & Steel, G. (2017). All-Inclusiveness versus Exclusion: Urban Project Development in Latin America and Africa. Sustainability, 9(11), [2038]. DOI: 10.3390/su9112038  [details] 
    • Steel, G., van Noorloos, F., & Klaufus, C. (2017). The urban land debate in the global South: New avenues for research. Geoforum, 83, 133-141. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.03.006  [details] 


    • Klaufus, C. (2016). Deathscape politics in Colombian metropolises: Conservation, grave recycling and the position of the bereaved. Urban Studies, 53(12), 2453-2468. DOI: 10.1177/0042098015593012  [details] 
    • Klaufus, C. (2016). 'The dead are killing the living': Spatial justice, funerary services, and cemetery land use in urban Colombia. Habitat International, 54(1), 74-79. DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2015.11.032  [details] 



    • Jaffe, R., Klaufus, C., & Colombijn, F. (2012). Mobilities and mobilizations of the urban poor. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 36(4), 643-654. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01119.x  [details] 
    • Spronk, R., & Klaufus, C. (2012). Introduction: Taste. Etnofoor, 24(2), 7-11. [details] 


    • Debray, H., Kuffer, M., Persello, C., Klaufus, C. J., & Pfeffer, K. (submitted). Detection of Informal Graveyards in Lima using Fully Convolutional Network with VHR Images. Paper presented at Joint Urban Remote Sensing Event 2019, Vannes, France.
    • Klaufus, C. J. The Cosmopolitan Necropolis: Conviviality in Today’s Cities of the Dead


    • Klaufus, C. (2016). [Review of: S.L. Lopez (2015) The remittance landscape: Spaces of migration in rural Mexico and urban USA]. Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe, 102, 121-123. DOI: 10.18352/erlacs.10184  [details] 
    • Klaufus, C. (2016). Arquitectura de remesas: 'Demonstration effect' in Latin American popular architecture. In M. Lozanovska (Ed.), Ethno-Architecture and the Politics of Migration (pp. 99-114). (Architext). London: Routledge. [details] 
    • Klaufus, C., & van Lindert, P. (2016). Inleiding. In C. Klaufus, & P. van Lindert (Eds.), Latijns-Amerika: een regio in beweging (pp. 7-14). Volendam: LM Publishers. [details] 
    • Klaufus, C., Nijenhuis, G., & Ouweneel, A. (2016). Latijns-Amerika in beweging. In C. Klaufus, & P. van Lindert (Eds.), Latijns-Amerika: een regio in beweging (pp. 169-186). Volendam: LM Publishers. [details] 


    • Klaufus, C., & Ouweneel, A. (Eds.) (2015). Housing and Belonging in Latin America. (Latin American studies; Vol. 105). New York: Berghahn. [details] 


    • Ypeij, J. L., Klaufus, C. J., & Ouweneel, A. (2012). Introduction. In A. O. (Ed.), Andeans and their use of Cultural Resources. Identity, Law, Space and Gender (pp. 1-23). Amsterdam: CEDLA.


    • Klaufus, C. J. (2017). De paradox van kosmopolitisch Cuenca. Geografie, 26(6), 10-13.
    • Klaufus, C. (2017). Informal House Design in the 21st century: Cholo and Remittances Architecture. In F. Hernández, & A. Becerra (Eds.), Marginal urbanisms: Informal and formal development in cities of Latin America (pp. 82-101). Cambridge Scholars Publishing. [details] 



    • Klaufus, C. (2015). Displacing the Dead, Disregarding the Living: Public Space and Cemetery Planning in Bogotá, Colombia. Progressive Planning, 204, 27-29.


    • Klaufus, C. (2017). UvA FGw Aspasia grant.
    • Klaufus, C. & Pfeffer, K. (2016). Centre for Urban Studies Seed Grant.


    • Klaufus, C. (2016-2017). Prince Bernhard Fellowships Foundation of Latin American Studies.
    • Klaufus, C. (2016). LANDac Netherlands Land Academy.
    • Klaufus, C. (2016-). Urban Studies.

    Media appearance

    • Klaufus, C. (15-09-2018). Territorial planning experiences in medium-sized cities [Web] EU-LAC Foundation Newsletter. Territorial planning experiences in medium-sized cities.
    • Klaufus, C. & Kalkman, P. (24-05-2018). Deathscapes in Latin American Metropolises [Web] podcast. Deathscapes in Latin American Metropolises.

    Journal editor

    • Klaufus, C. (editor) (2014-2017). Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe (Journal).

    Talk / presentation

    • Klaufus, C. (speaker) (1-12-2018). Urban Land: Between Grab and Development, Science without Frontiers, Groningen, Netherlands.
    • Klaufus, C. (invited speaker) (5-7-2018). Public Space in the Grab-Development Paradox, Land Governance for Development, Utrecht, Netherlands.
    • Klaufus, C. (invited speaker) (25-6-2018). Constructions of Eternity in Latin American Deathscapes, Institut für Etnologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.
    • Klaufus, C. (invited speaker) (7-3-2018). Self-provided housing in The Netherlands and Latin America, Housing self-provision and comparative urbanism, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
    • Klaufus, C. (invited speaker) (27-2-2018). Lima Global City, KNAG Koninklijk Nederlands Aardrijkskundig Genootschap (Royal Dutch Geographical Society).
    • Klaufus, C. (speaker) (23-11-2017). Migratiestad Lima in trans-lokale context, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG).
    • Klaufus, C. (invited speaker) (13-11-2017). Growing pains of urban Latin America: governance paradigms towards affordable housing, Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen.
    • Klaufus, C. (invited speaker), Steel, G. (speaker) & van Noorloos, F. (speaker) (5-7-2017). Urban Land Governance: Investing in Public Space, LANDac Summer School, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands.
    • Klaufus, C. (invited speaker) (29-6-2017). Housing the Dead: The Cemetery as an Extension of Low-income Settlements, Workshop on Securing Housing and the Governing of Uncertainty, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
    • Klaufus, C. (speaker) (11-5-2017). The heart of the neighborhood: Cementerio Virgen de Lourdes, Lima, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
    • Klaufus, C. (speaker) (30-4-2017). Spaces of representation and coexistence: Cementerio Virgen de Lourdes, Latin American Studies Association: Dialogues of Knowledge, Lima, Peru.
    • Klaufus, C. (invited speaker) (21-4-2017). Innovatieve stedelijke ontwikkeling in Zuid-Amerika: voorbij Curitiba en Bogotá, Thieme Meulenhoff GEO dag, Eindhoven, Netherlands.
    • Klaufus, C. (speaker) (26-1-2017). Cemetery Land Governance in Lima, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


    • Klaufus, C. (examiner) (28-9-2018). PhD Thesis Defense: Affordable Condominium Housing. A comparative analysis of low-income homeownership in Colombia and Ecuador (examination).
    • Klaufus, C. (participant) (2-7-2018 - 3-7-2018). Think Tank: Dynamics of Deprived Settlements, Amsterdam, Netherlands. In this two-day event, we will examine the dynamics of deprived settlements in different geographic contexts; standards and transferability. To this (…) (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Klaufus, C. (participant) (28-6-2018). Prince Bernhard Scholarship Award Ceremony (other).
    • Klaufus, C. (examiner) (28-6-2018). PhD Thesis Defense: The Politics of Public Construction in a Globalized World: Imagining Urban Space in Ecuador (examination).
    • Klaufus, C. (organiser) (24-5-2018). Double panel "Latin American Gentrifications I and II" at LASA 2018 conference, Barcelona, Spain. Together with Prof. Clara Irazabal I organised and chaired two panels of 5 papers each, and I was discussant in the first session. (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Klaufus, C. (participant) & del Castillo, L. (participant) (24-5-2018). Barranco for sale: Gentrification by depopulation in Lima’s central districts. Paper written together with Lorena del Castillo (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Klaufus, C. (consultant) (2017). LBJ Latin American Policy Studies Strategy, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin (consultancy).
    • Klaufus, C. (organiser) & Ypeij, J. L. (organiser) (30-4-2017). Lima's conos today, Lima, Peru (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Klaufus, C. (participant) (29-4-2017 - 1-5-2017). Latin American Studies Association: Dialogues of Knowledge, Lima, Peru (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Klaufus, C. (organiser) & Pfeffer, K. (organiser) (14-2-2017 - 15-2-2017). Mapping Denied Spaces, Amersfoort, Netherlands (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Klaufus, C. (participant) (29-5-2016). XXXIV International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, New York. ‘Public and private provisioning of cemetery services in urban Colombia’ (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Ypeij, A. (organiser) & Klaufus, C. J. (organiser) (8-10-2014 - 9-10-2014). The visible city’, International Seminar, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library  or the Pure staff  of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure  to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool  to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities