Dr. Manuel Heckel

Dr. Manuel Heckel

Dr. Manuel Heckel

Researcher and Lecturer


Since 2023
Researcher and lecturer at the Chair of International Urbanism, University of Stuttgart
Research project: DASH

PhD (Urban Studies) from University of Sheffield, UK

MSc (IUSD) from University of Stuttgart and Ain Shams Cairo, Egypt

Diploma (Urban planning) from University of Stuttgart


CV Summary

Manuel holds a PhD in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of Sheffield, UK. His research looked at the commercialisation of development funding in basic services sectors, focusing on trends in the Kenyan water sector to ‘blend’ public funds with commercial finance and ‘unlock’ capital market investments to mobilise private resources for infrastructure development. Manuel’s research interests are development finance and financialisation, infrastructure and basic services (especially water and sanitation), and increasingly (urban) development norms endorsement and enforcement. More generally, he is interested in social ontology and the nature and role of finance and infrastructure in urban transformation processes.

At the Department of International Urbanism, Manuel coordinates the EU-funded research project “DASH – Delivering sAfe and Sustainable Housing”. Together with partners from four countries (Denmark, Germany, Protugal, Serbia) and three sectors (academia, local authorities, housing associations), the project looks at strategies to improve the production of social housing in second-tier cities in Europe.

Manuel teaches a range of postgraduate modules at the Department of International Urbanism, including in the M.Sc. Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design (IUSD) programme. Manuel taught both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the Department of Urban Studies at the University of Sheffield. He is Associate Fellow of AdvanceHE, the UK’s professional recognition scheme for university teachers.

Previously, Manuel completed his M.Sc. IUSD studies in Stuttgart and Cairo, writing his Master’s dissertation on the political economy of Cairo’s urban growth. He worked with GIZ in Bonn and Chisinau, inter alia on municipal finance and improving basic services delivery.

Heckel, Manuel (2023). “Water utilities as debt emitters: the commercialization of development funding and services provision in Kenya’s water sector”. In: Globalizations. doi:10.1080/14747731.2023.2261732