Gautam Bhan

Associate Dean - School of Human Development
Senior Lead - Academics & Research
| gbhan at iihs dot co dot in

2012   PhD, City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley
2006   MA, Urban Sociology, University of Chicago
2002   BA, Political Economy and Development, Amherst College, Massachusetts



Countries: India, South Africa
States: Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Rajasthan
Cities: Delhi, Ranchi, Bangalore, Jaipur
Languages: English, Hindi, Kashmiri

Gautam Bhan is an urbanist whose work focuses on urban poverty, inequality, social protection, and housing. He is currently Associate Dean, School of Human Development, as well as Senior Lead of Academics and Research at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) in Bengaluru, India.


Gautam’s previous research has focused on evictions, citizenship and inequality in Delhi, and at IIHS, he has continued to work on questions of access to affordable and adequate housing. He anchors IIHS’ role as a National Resource Centre with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, and is part of IIHS’ work in affordable housing policy and practice having worked with housing rights movements across the country as well as state governments in Karnataka, Delhi, Rajasthan and Odisha. His new work engages with regimes of urban welfare and social security, including work on urban health. At the School of Human Development, he is building research and practice on questions of the design and delivery of social protection entitlements within urban India. He also has a deep and abiding interest in new urban and planning theory from the south.


He is the author of In the Public’s Interest: Evictions, Citizenship and Inequality in Contemporary Delhi  (University  of Georgia Press 2017; Orient Blackswan 2017), co-editor of the Routledge Companion to Planning in the Global South (Routledge 2018; Orient Blackswan 2019), co-author of Swept off the Map: Surviving Eviction and Resettlement in Delhi (Yoda Press 2008), and co-editor of Because I have a Voice: Queer Politics in India (Yoda Press 2006), in addition to numerous academic articles. He also writes frequently in public intellectual spaces. He holds a PhD in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Bhan, G., Gupte, R., Kundu, R., Maringanti, A., & Shetty, P. (2021, July 14-16). What difference does a year make: Indian urban worlds [Conference session]. In S. Oosterlynck, E. Van Wymeersch, F. Laoukili, M. Van Dam, & K. Boven (Eds.), RC21 Conference Sensing the City: Place, People, Power (p. 133). University of Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Bhan, G. (2018). What we talk about when talking about housing. In R. Mehrotra & K. Mehta (Eds.), Housing in India: Aspirations, imaginaries and realities (p. 144-145). Mumbai: UDRI/Architecture Foundation.
  • Keynote Lecture: Theoretical Vectors and Methodological Frontiers. African Centre for Cities International Urban Conference. Cape Town, South Africa (2018).
  •  Author meets Critics: Gautam Bhan onIn the Public’s Interest’, American Association of Geography, Boston, USA (2017)
  • BGU Lecture Series on the Global South. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Tel Aviv, Israel (2017)
  • Roundtable on Evictions in the New Millennium, at National Meeting of the National Association of Graduate and Research Programs in Urban and Regional Planning, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2017; with Ananya Roy, Oren Yiftachel)
  • Readings from four cities in the global south, Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Mumbai (2016; with Kelly Gillespie, Abdoumaliq Simone).
  • The Right to the City: From North to South. Luskin Institute for Inequality and Democracy, University of California, Los Angeles (2016)
  • Sexuality intersects: Searching for tongues? ILF Samanvay: Language as Public Action. India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (2016)
  • The Intent to Reside: Coming and Being in the City. Interdisciplinary Debates on Development and Culture, Department of Anthropology, Katholik University, Leuven, Belgium (2015).
  • Re-defining the Smart City Paradigm towards Inclusive Urbanism. Habitat Unit, Technical University, Berlin, Germany (2015)
  • The Right to the City, The 6th Annual Carol Breckenridge Memorial Lecture, PUKAR, Mumbai, India (2015; with Anant Maringanti)
  • City Stories about Land and Multiplicity. Grootboom Lecture Series, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, South Africa (2014; with Ash Amin, Teresa Caldeira, Filip DeBoeck)
  • Queer politics and inclusive planning: Making intersectionality travel. The 60th Anniversary of the Development Planning Unit, The University of London, UK (2014).