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

Part of the School of Human Development at IIHS, Gautam teaches, researches and writes on the politics of urban poverty and inequality, urban and planning theory, housing, and identity and social practice. At IIHS, Gautam has taught under several programmes, including the Urban Fellows Programme, the Urban Practitioners Programme and the PWP-UD.


He anchors the role of IIHS as a National Resource Centre, with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and is part of IIHS’ work in affordable housing policy and practice. His previous research has focused on displacement and resettlement of the urban poor in Delhi and his new work engages with regimes of urban welfare and social security, including work on urban health. He has been an active part of urban social movements on sexuality as well as housing rights and currently advises and trains governmental agencies at local, state and national levels on housing policy.


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), co-author of Swept off the Map: Surviving Eviction and Resettlement in Delhi (2008), and co-editor of Because I have a Voice: Queer Politics in India (2006), in addition to numerous academic articles. He also writes frequently in public intellectual spaces and frequently in Caravan, India Today, Tehelka, Indian Express, the Hindustan Times and the Times of India.

Research Projects at IIHS

2017 Tacit Urban Research Network
2017 WHO Study on Child Care Practices of Women Working in the Informal Sector
2016-17 Planning, ‘Violations’ and Urban Inclusion
2016 Tracing Discrimination on the basis of Non-Normative Genders and Sexualities
2013 Re-framing Urban Inclusion


Practice Projects at IIHS

2015-16 Karnataka Affordable Housing Policy
2013-14 India Urban Policy Support Partnership


  • Bhan, G., Chandola, T., Sampat, K., & Sohane, N. (2019). Building a home. Building a life: Incrementality and investment in resettlement colony. Bangalore: Indian Institute for Human settlements.
  • Bhan, G, Srinivas, S., & Watson, V. (eds) (2018). Routledge Companion to Planning in the Global South. Routledge: London and Orient Blackswan: New Delhi.
  • Bhan, G. (2016). In the Public’s Interest: Evictions, Citizenship and Inequality in Contemporary Delhi. Orient Blackswan: Delhi and University of Georgia Press: Athens.
  • Bhan, G and Menon-Sen, K (2008). Swept off the Map: Surviving Eviction and Resettlement in New Delhi (Yoda Press: New Delhi). Translated Edition (2009) Nakshe se Bahar: Dilli main Visthapan ke Baad Zindagi. Yoda Press: Delhi.
  • Bhan, G (2016) In the Public’s Interest: Evictions, Citizenship and Inequality in Contemporary Delhi. Orient Blackswan: Delhi and University of Georgia Press: Athens.
  • Bhan, G, Watson, V and Srinivas, S (eds) (2018) Routledge Companion to Planning in the Global South. Routledge: London and Orient Blackswan: New Delhi.
  • Bhan, G and Menon-Sen, K [2008]Swept off the Map: Surviving Eviction and Resettlement in New Delhi (Yoda Press: New Delhi). Translated Edition (2009) Nakshe se Bahar: Dilli main Visthapan ke Baad Zindagi. Yoda Press: Delhi.
  • Bhan, G and Narrain, A (2005) Because I have a Voice: Queer Politics in India. Yoda Press: Delhi.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • Chowdhury, A. R., Surie, A., & Bhan, G. (2021). Breastfeeding knowledge and practices of working mothers in the informal economy in New Delhi: A formative study to explore new intervention pathways towards improved maternal and child health outcomes. Social Science & Medicine, 281, Article 114070.
  • Bhan, G. (2020). Informality, housing and work: The view from Indian cities. In M. Chen, & F. Carré (Eds.)., The informal economy revisited: Examining the past, envisioning the future (pp. 136 – 139).  Routledge.
  • Bhan, G., Surie, A., Horwood, C., Dobson, R., Alfers, L., Portela, A., & Rollins, N. (2020). Informal work and maternal and child health: A blind spot in public health and research. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 98(3), 219–221.
  • Bhan, G. (2019). Notes on a Southern urban practice. Environment & Urbanization, 1-16.
  • Sassen, S., Pieterse, E., Bhan, G., Hirsh, M., Falu, A., Ichikawa, H …, Tarchopulos, D. (2018). Cities and Social Progress. In International Panel on Social Progress (Ed.), Rethinking society for the 21st century : Report of the International Panel on Social Progress (Vol. 1. Socio-economic Transformations) (pp. 187-224). Cambridge, UK. : Cambridge University Press.
  • Bhan, G., (2018). Housing common sense and urban policy in India. In A. Bhide & H. Burte (Eds.), Urban parallax: Policy and the city in contemporary India (pp. 114-124). New Delhi: Yoda Press.
  • Bhan, G., Srinivas, S., & Watson, V. (2018). Introduction. In G. Bhan., S. Srinivas & V. Watson (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to planning in the Global South (pp. 1-22). Oxon, UK: Routledge.
  • Bhan, G., Goswami, A., & Revi, A. (2018). The intent to reside: residence in the auto-constructed city, In G. Bhan., S. Srinivas & V. Watson (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to planning in the Global South (pp. 255-263). Oxon, UK: Routledge.
  • Goswami A. and Bhan G., (2017). Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement. Yojana, 61, 15-18.
  • Bhan, G (2017) Where is Citizenship? : Thoughts from the Basti. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 37, No. 3, 2017 • doi 10.1215/1089201x-4279176
  • Bhan, G (2017) From the basti to the house: Socio-Spatial Readings of Housing Policy in India. Current Sociology, Vol 65 (4).
  • Bhan, G (2016) Asking the Wrong Question: Smart Cities in Contemporary India, in Stollman, Jorg et al (eds) Beware of Smart People! Redefining the Smart City Paradigm towards Inclusive Urbanism. Universitatsverlag der TU Berlin: Berlin.
  • Deb, A., & Bhan, G. (2016). Indispensable Yet Inaccesible: The Paradoxes of Adequate Housing in Urban India. India Social Development Report.New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Bhan, G and Jana, A (2015) Reading Spatial Inequality in Urban India. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 50, No 22
  • Bhan, G (2014) Categorising Hierarchies. Seminar: November.
  • Bhan, G (2014) The Impoverishment of Poverty: Reflections on Urban Citizenship and Inequality in Contemporary Delhi. Environment & Urbanisation,Vol 26(2): p 547-560.
  • Bhan, G (2014) Continuity amidst Change: Learning from the Rajiv Awaas Yojana. Yojana, Vol 58.
  • Bhan, G. (2014). Moving from ‘giving back’ to engagement.Journal of Research Practice, 10(2), Article N14.
  • Bhan, G (2014) The Real Lives of African Urban Fantasies. Environment & Urbanisation, Vol 26 (1)
  • Bhan, G. (2014) Urban Political Mobilization, in Mostafa, Nagati and Stryker (ed) Learning from Cairo. CLUSTER/American University of Cairo: Cairo.
  • Bhan, G.; Goswami, A. and Revi, A. (2014) The Intent to Reside: Spatial Illegality, Inclusive Planning and Urban Social Security, in Mathur, Om (ed) State of the Urban Poor Report 2014. Oxford University Press: New Delhi.
  • Bhan, G; Deb, A; Arakali, A; Anand, G; and Harish, S (2014) Exclusions in Access to Urban Housing, in CES (2014) India Exclusion Report 2013-14.Books for Change: Bangalore.
  • Bhan, G [2013]Planned Illegalities: Housing and the ‘Failure’ of Planning in Delhi 1947-2010. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol XLVII (24).
  • Bhan, G and Shivanand S [2013] (Un)Settling the City: Analysing Displacement in Delhi 1990-2007. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol XLVII (13).
  • Bhan, G and Panda, P (2013) Revisiting India’s Population Policies, in Shiva Kumar, Panda and Ved (eds) Handbook of Population and Development. Oxford University Press: Delhi.
  • Bhan G. (2013) Liberal Education: The Road not Taken. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol XLVIII (21).
  • Bhan G. and Jana, A (2013) Of Slums or Poverty?: Notes of Caution from Census 2011. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol XLVIII (18).
  • Bhan, G [2009]Evictions, the urban poor, and the right to the city in millennial Delhi, in Environment & Urbanisation, Vol 29 (1).
  • Bhan, G., Bhandari, N., Taneja, S., Mazumder, S., and Bahl, R. (2005)The Effect of Maternal Education on Gender Bias in Care-seeking for Common Childhood Illnesses, in Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 60 (5)
  • Bhan, G (2005) Challenging the Limits of the Law, in Narrain and Bhan (ed) Because I Have a Voice: Queer Politics in India. Yoda Press: Delhi. 715-724.

Reports and Policy Papers

  • Bhan, G., Rai Chowdhury, A., & Mehra, R. (2021). State of occupational safety and health practices at workplace for domestic workers in COVID-19 and possibilities for action. International Labour Organization.–en/index.htm
  • Bhan, G., Rai Chowdhury, A., Margosa, N., Sampat, K., & Sohane, N. (2020). Lessons for social protection from the Covid-19 lockdowns report 1 of 2: State Relief. Indian Institute for Human Settlements.
  • Chowdhury, A. R., Bhan, G., Sampat, K., & RMKU. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 and lockdowns on domestic workers: First report. Rajasthan Mahila Kaamgaar Union (RMKU); Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS).
  • Frediani, A. A., Cociña, C., Bhan, G., Lwasa, S., Diaz, J. P., & Levy, C. (2020). Institutional capabilities towards urban equality: Reflections from the Know programme in Bangalore, Kampala and Havana (KNOW working paper series, no. 4). Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality.
  • Bhan G., Mehra, R., Sohane, N., Vasudev, E., & Yadav, M (2020). Jahan Jhuggi, Vahan Makaan: Assessing the viability and parameters of a Delhi Government JJ cluster improvement scheme. Indian Institute for Human Settlements and Indo-Global Social Service Society.
  • Gautam, M., Wankhade, K., Mantri, M., Narayan, V., Naveen, G., Verma, U., Sudhakar, S., & Sarangan, G. (2019). Needs assessment study of occupational and health hazards faced by desludging workers in a city in India. TNUSSP.
  • Bhan, G., Chakraborty, I., Joshi, S., Kumar, N., Shakeel, A., & Yadav, M. (2019). Isn’t there enough Land? spatial assessments of ‘Slums’ in New Delhi. (IIHS working papers in housing policy and practice Paper 1). New Delhi: Indian Institute for Human Settlements.
  • Bhan, G and Surie, A (2016) Housing, in Government of Karnataka (ed) Human Development Report: Karnataka. GoK: Bangalore.
  • Bhan, G; Harish, S and Anand, G (2014) Policy Approaches to Affordable Housing in India: Problems and Opportunities. Indian Institute for Human Settlements: Bangalore.
  • Bhan, G; Anand, S and Idicheria, C (2014) Locating the Debate: Poverty and Inequality in Urban India. Indian Institute for Human Settlements: Bangalore.
  • Bhan, G (2005) Sexual Rights in India: A New Paradigm? CREA: New Delhi.
  • Bhan, G (2000). India Gender Profile: Gender and Development Concerns in the Indian Context. Institute of Development Studies (Brighton : IDS).

Public Writing

I consider public writing a critical part of academic and intellectual life. My work has appeared in Caravan, the New York Times, the Hindu, Indian Express, Tehelka, Mint, The Wire, The Hindustan Times, the Times of India, and, among others. Recent and influential pieces include: Sharing the UrbanOutsmarting the Informal CityFrom Slums to Neighbourhoods; A Test for Dignity and DemocracyPride, Prejudice and Politics; A City for all its Citizens; an Interview with Gautam BhanThe “Encroacher” versus the “Citizen”. View: The time for a national relief package to prop up Covid-hit working households is now.

  • 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).