Sudeshna Mitra

Associate Dean - Academics | Senior Lead - Academics & Research | smitra at iihs dot ac dot in

2013    PhD, City and Regional Planning, Cornell University, New York
2006    MRP, City and Regional Planning, Cornell University, New York
1999    MPlan, Urban Planning, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi
1997    BPlan, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi


Countries: China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, United States
States: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal,
West Bengal
Cities:  Bangalore, Chandigarh, Delhi, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur, Mysore, Rohtak, Shimla, Shenzhen, Singapore
Languages: English, Bengali , Hindi

Sudeshna Mitra is faculty at IIHS. She works on the political economy of land and real estate, in urban and regional economic development, and urban governance. Her research looks at questions of land use, land values, land based financing, tenure arrangements and land rights, in public- private development partnerships and across different scales of governance. At IIHS, she has been involved in a project which reviewed the National Land Records Modernisation Programme, with a focus on land recording practices and institutional, legal and procedural reforms in the states of Karnataka, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. She is currently involved with research on periurban land dynamics in Bidadi, Bengaluru, and the imperatives and interventions in municipal financing. Previously, she has undertaken research on the periurban land dynamics, emerging from state government strategies to attract investors, in Kolkata and Hyderabad.

At IIHS, Sudeshna is currently coordinating the Urban Fellows Programme, a ten-month post-graduate inter-disciplinary residential fellowship. Before IIHS, she taught as Visiting Lecturer at Cornell University, as Tutor at Cornell in Washington (Public Policy) and as visiting faculty at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA). She has taught courses on Urban Theory, Planning in the Urban, Urban and Regional Economic Development, Land Economics and Locational Theories, International Institutions, Quantitative and Qualitative Techniques of Policy Analysis and studio based planning exercises.

Before Cornell, Sudeshna worked as a consultant and advised city government authorities, parastatals and infrastructure development bodies in India and South East Asia. She worked on market analyses, demand modelling and financial feasibility analyses for Science Parks, Special Economic Zones, Infrastructure Corridors, Airports and Greenfield and Brownfield Townships. She also worked for the Cornell Cooperative Extension, New York State, where an impact model she co-developed to monetise social impacts of the Extension’s work, was used as a part of the municipal budgetary review process.

She is a member of the Board of Studies, for the undergraduate planning programme at SPA. She serves as an external moderator for graduate courses at the University of Western Cape, South Africa. She is also on the Apoorva Rastogi Fellowship Committee for undergraduate women students at SPA.

Sudeshna completed her PhD in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. She has a Masters in Planning from Cornell and a Masters in Urban Planning from the SPA. She has a Bachelors in Physical Planning from SPA.



  • Gill- Chin Lim Award- Best Dissertation in International Planning, American Collegiate Schools of Planning (2014)
  • American Institute of Indian Studies Junior Fellowship (2008-09)
  • American Planning Association Student Project Award (2006)
  • Gold Medalist- Masters in Urban Planning (1999), Bachelors of Physical Planning, School of Planning and Architecture (1997)

Practice Projects at IIHS


2014- 2015Land Administration Project
2014Sivaramakrishnan Committee for Identification of Capital for Andhra Pradesh



CommonsPlanning in the Urban, Policy and Governance, Economic Development, Land Economy
ElectivesUrban and Regional Economic Development

Previous Teaching Experience

2011- 2014Courses: Urban Theory and Spatial Development, International Institutions, Land Economics, Policy Research Methods (advising), Thesis Advising, Studio- based exercises
2010- 2014Institutions: Cornell University, Cornell in Washington (Public Policy), School of Planning and Architecture