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, United States of America
2006    MA, Urban Sociology, University of Chicago, United States of America
2002    BA, Political Economy and Development, Amherst College, Amherst, United States of America

Countries: India, South Africa, Kenya, Sierra Leone, UK, USA
States: Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Rajasthan
Cities: Delhi, Ranchi, Bangalore, Jaipur, Indore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Ahmedabad
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, IIHS School of Human Development, as well as Senior Lead, Academics & Research, at IIHS.


Gautam’s previous research has focused on evictions, citizenship and inequality in Delhi, and at IIHS, he continues 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. He is also a 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.


  • Capacity Building Sessions on Urbanisation in India (LBSNAA), Housing, Livelihoods, Planning, Urban Inequality,Urban Practitioners’ Programme (UPP), IIHS



  • Identity and Social Practice, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Urban Economy, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Affordable Housing: Policy and Practice, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Ethnographic Methods, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Southern Urban Theory, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Urban Health Systems Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Urban Social Protection, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Practica Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Housing Justice: A View from India, Digital Blended Learning (DBL) course, IIHS
  • Sustainable Cities, Digital Blended Learning (DBL) course, IIHS and UN-SDSN
Keynote Lectures
  • 2024: Chair’s Plenary Conversations at Royal Geographical Society-IBG Annual International Conference, London, UK
  • 2024: Semi-Plenary Keynote Lecture. RC 21 Annual Conference on “The politics and spaces of encounters: advancing dialogues between and within the Global North and the Global South”. Santiago, Chile
  • 2023: Uta-Do: African Cities Workshop, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 2023: The 23rd Neelan Tiruchelvam Memorial Lecture, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 2023: Keynote Lecture, Urban Studies Foundation Seminar Series on “Women’s urban care practices in Europe and Latin America ” Humboldt University of Berlin and Universidad de los Andes.
  • 2022: Keynote Lecture, Development Studies Association Conference on “Just sustainable futures in an urbanising and mobile world” London, UK
  • 2021: Nobel Week Dialogue on “The City of the Future”, Svenska Mässan, Gothenburg
  • 2021: Keynote Lecture, Royal Geographical Society-IBG Annual International Conference, London, UK
  • 2019: Keynote Lecture, Human Development and Capability Association Conference, London, UK
  • 2018: Keynote Lecture. African Centre for Cities International Urban Conference “: Theoretical Vectors and Methodological Frontiers.” Cape Town, South Africa
  • 2015: The 6th Annual Carol Breckenridge Memorial Lecture, PUKAR, Mumbai, India


Conference Presentations

  • Bhan, G., D’Souza, P., Gajjar, H., Margosa, N., Mehra, R., Priya, K., Rashmi, C. S., Chowdhury, A. R., Sampat, K., & Sohane, N. (2023). Lessons for social protection from the Covid-19 lockdowns. In Urban arc 2023: Cities in flux – IIHS annual research conference. Indian Institute for Human Settlements.
  • 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.
  • Bhan, G. (2016, June).  Asking the wrong question: Smart cities in contemporary urban India. In J. Stollmann, K. Wolf, A. Bruck, S. Frank, A. Million, P. Misselwitz, … C. Schroder (Eds.), Symposium Proceedings of Beware of Smart People: Redefining the Smart City Paradigm towards Inclusive Urbanism (pp. 103-112). Berlin: Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin.
  • Bhan, G. (2010). Reclaiming the public’s interest: Reimagining the poor into Delhi’s millennial landscape. In N. AlSayyad (Ed.), The Utopia of Tradition, the Twelfth Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (pp. 62-63). Berkeley, CA: International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments.
  • COVID-19 Social Science Research Evidence Platform: COVID Collective
  • Delivering Social Protection to Informal Workers: Lessons Learned From COVID-19 Relief Measures in India
  • Government of Delhi Emergency Hunger Committee
  • Urban Employment Programmes
  • Study on Examining Paid and Unpaid Domestic Work in Urban Homes
  • CMRETAC Project: Towards a Different Future of Work: A Framework for Informal Work and Workers in Urban Rajasthan
  • Informality and Child Care
  • A Study to Explore Child Care and Feeding Practices among Working Women in the Informal Sector
  • Livelihood and Nurturing Care (LiNC)
  • Non-Communicable Dieases in Low-Income Urban Neighbourhoods: The Case of KG Halli, Bengaluru
  • Children in All Policies 2030 project
  • Isn‘t There Enough Land? Spatial Assessments of ’Slums’ in New Delhi
  • Jahan Jhuggi Wahan Makaan
  • Karnataka Affordable Housing Policy
  • Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission
  • Main Bhi Dilli Campaign
  • PEAK Urban: Urban Health in the Indian Metropolis: Systems, Intersections and Emergent Concerns
  • Planning for Activists
  • Analysing and Providing Suggestions and Recommendations for Drafting the Model National Rental Housing Policy
  • Caste and the Urban: An Interdisciplinary Review
  • Chief Minister of Rajasthan’s Economic Transformation Advisory Council (CMRETAC) – Urban Transitions
  • Urban India Policy Support Partnership
  • Karnataka Slum Areas Development Policy
  • Planning, ‘Violations’ and Urban Inclusion
  • Reframing Urban Inclusion
  • Tacit Urban Knowledge Network (TURN)
  • Tenure Security for Slum Dwellers