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 focusses on the governance of infrastructure, especially mega-infrastructure in the context of post-liberalisation Urban India. She also works on questions of environmental governance focussing on institutional analysis and state capacity. Her recent work has also looked at the political economy of higher education in urban studies. Her teaching at IIHS focusses on questions of governance and sustainability. Her writing on some of these issues have been published in Economic and Political Weekly, Environment & Urbanisation, Nature Water, the International Journal for Urban and Regional Research (IJURR) and Land Use Policy, as well as through contributions to several edited volumes.


Neha is the Associate Dean of the IIHS School of Environment and Sustainability and also anchors the IIHS Research Programme. She is a Board Member of the Research Committee 21 (RC21) on Sociology of Urban and Regional Development of the International Sociological Association and serves as a corresponding editor for the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR).


She holds a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Mumbai. Prior to beginning graduate school at the University of Michigan, Neha 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.