Neha Sami

Associate Dean - School of Environment and Sustainability
Senior Lead - Academics & Research
| nsami at iihs dot ac dot in

2012    PhD, Urban and Regional Planning, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Taubman College of               Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
2004    Master of Environmental Management, Industrial & Urban Ecology, Yale School of Forestry and                           Environmental Studies, New Haven, Connecticut
2002    MMS, Finance, Rizvi Institute of Management Studies, University of Mumbai, Mumbai
2000    BA, Economics (Hons), St. Xavier’s College, University of Mumbai, Mumbai

Countries: India, United States
States: Karnataka, Maharashtra
Cities: Bengaluru, Pune
Languages: English, Hindi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, French

Neha Sami studies urban and regional development and governance in post-liberalisation India. Her research focuses on the governance arrangements of mega-projects, regional planning and on environmental governance questions in Indian cities, particularly around issues of climate change adaptation. Her earlier work focussed on the way local urban stakeholders, both within and outside government use their personal, social and political networks to shape and facilitate large developmental projects and governance initiatives that are rapidly emerging in contemporary Indian cities. She is currently studying industrial corridor development projects between Indian cities like the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, focusing particularly on governance issues. She is also interested in regional approaches to land use planning. Other ongoing research focuses on questions of environmental governance at sub-national scales, focusing especially on planning for climate change at the city and regional scales. Her writing on some of these issues has been published in the Economic and Political Weekly, the International Journal for Urban and Regional Research (IJURR) and Land Use Policy, as well as through contributions to several edited volumes.

Neha is currently faculty at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements in Bangalore, India where she teaches on questions of urban and regional governance and sustainability, and research methods and ethics. She also anchors the Research Programme at IIHS. Neha is also a member of the Editorial Collective of Urbanisation (published by SAGE).

She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Mumbai. Prior to beginning graduate school at the University of Michigan, Sami worked with the Boston Redevelopment Authority as an analyst with the Economic Development Division, as well as with the Environment and Sustainable Development Division of the UN-ESCAP (Bangkok).

Research Projects at IIHS

2013How Urban is India?
2013Urban Corridors: Strategies for economic and urban development
2013Environmental governance and planning for CARIAA Project


Practice Projects at IIHS

2014Future Proofing Indian Cities (FPIC) Project
2013India Urban Policy Support Partnership
2013Identifying Emerging Locations of High-Intensity Economic Agglomerations Project in Odisha
2013–15IIHS–IGC study Project
  • Sami, N., Lall, R., & Anand, S. (2022). Building Knowledge: The challenges of creating a ‘Southern’ frame for urban planning pedagogy. In T. Maloutas., & P. Koutrolikou (Eds.), RC21 Conference Ordinary Cities in Exceptional Times (p. 21). Harokopeio University, Athens.
  • Anand, S., & Sami, N. (2021). Disjunct realities: The imaginaries of mega-infrastructure projects. In S. Oosterlynck, E. Van Wymeersch, F.  Laoukili, M. Van Dam, & K. Boven (Eds.), RC21 Conference Sensing the City : Place, People, Power (p. 47). University of Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Anand, S., & Sami, N. (2016, July). Apples and Oranges: Inter-regional Comparisons within India. Paper presented at the RC21 International Conference on the transgressive city: comparative perspectives on governance and the possibilities of everyday life in the emerging global city. Mexico: El Colegio De México.
  • Neha, S. & Shriya A. (2015).  Manufacturing Cities: Industrial Policy and Urban Planning in India.  Paper presented at the RC21 International Conference on The ideal city: between myth and reality. Representations, policies, contradictions and challenges for tomorrow’s urban life, Urbino, Italy, 27-29 August. Urbino: RC21 – Research Committee on Urban and Regional Development.
  • Power to the People? A study of Bangalore’s urban taskforces: Invited talk, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, 2014 January 31.
  • Anand, S. & Sami, N. (2014). Scaling up: Land Use and Economic Development in India’s urban corridors. Paper presented at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning 2014 Big Ideas, Global Impacts Conference, October 29 – November 2, 2014, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Who Develops: The Role of Urban Coalitions in India’, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, October 7-10, 2010.
  • ‘Personal Connections: Urban coalitions in Bangalore’, ‘Contesting The Indian City: State, Space, And Citizenship In The Global Era’, Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Indian city, Centre for Studies in the Social Sciences, Kolkata, India, sponsored by the Center for South Asian Studies, University of Michigan & the Trehan India Initiative, March 5-6, 2010
  • ‘From Farming to Development: An Alternative Approach to Real Estate Development in Pune, India’, International Sociological Association RC21 Annual Conference, Sao Paulo, Brazil, August 23-25, 2009.
  • ‘Local Labor for Global Exhibition – How the Rise of Construction in Preparation for the 2010 World Exposition Has Affected the Rural-Urban Migrant Population of Shanghai’ (Joint work with Charles Garcia and Alexander Jacobsen). Outstanding Paper Award, Urban Development and Planning in China: China Planning Network (CPN) 3rd Annual Conference, Beijing, China, June 14-16, 2006.