Jagan Shah
Director, NIUA

Jagan Shah is the Director of National Institute of Urban Affairs, the premier think-tank associated with the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. The institute conducts research, policy and evaluation work for the Ministry and is presently also executing projects supported by the Cities Alliance, ADB, World Bank, Rockefeller Foundation, Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Tata Trusts, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority and the City & Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra. NIUA is the national PMU for the HRIDAY Scheme for heritage cities.

Shah has 20 years of professional work experience in various aspects of urban development in India. He studied Architectural Design from School of Planning & Architecture (SPA), New Delhi and Architectural History & Theory from the University of Cincinnati and Columbia University in New York. He has served as the Director of Sushant School of Architecture, Gurgaon and has taught at the School of Planning & Architecture (SPA) from 1998 till 2006. From 2007 to 2010, he was the Chief Executive of Urban Space Consultants, providing consultancy in policy formulation, spatial planning, heritage conservation, transportation and livelihoods development.

Shah was deeply involved with revision of the Regional Plan 2021 for the National Capital Region, has devised intervention strategies for the India Foundation for the Arts and the Sir Ratan TataTrust, and has executed large scale urban design assignments such as 27 stations for the Regional Rapid Transit System for the NCR and the Master Plan for the Mizoram University campus in Aizawl.

Shah was a founding member of the Modern Asian Architecture Network. He has authored Contemporary Indian Architecture (Roli, 2008) and co-authored Building Beyond Borders (NBT, 1995) with Satish Grover. His next book, 5000 Years of Indian Architecture: From River Valley to Metropolis will be published by Roli Books.

Sabina Suri
Senior Research Fellow

Sabina Suri is an urban specialist with 16 years of diverse global experience in creating, vibrant and sustainable urban environments. As is a Senior Research Fellow at NIUA she currently coordinates the Child Friendly Smart Cities initiative and provides technical and knowledge inputs for developing an effective urban planning and management framework that includes children's perspective and participation in planning a city and its growth as well as influencing change in the following areas: Capacity Building of multiple stakeholders, advocating and influencing Policy Change, developing Child Friendly Design and Infrastructure and Communication, Knowledge Sharing and Learning.

Prior to joining the NIUA, she headed the planning group at Fairwood Consultants Pvt. Ltd. Sabina has worked with planning, urban design and architecture firms in the US with focus on integrated transportation and land use planning, mixed-use and pedestrian-friendly community design.  Sabina has been a visiting faculty at the University School of Architecture & Planning at GGS IP University in Delhi.

Sabina has a Master’s degree in Architecture & Urbanism from the Massachusetts Institute of technology. Her interest areas include research on humanization aspects in communities - as reflected in her Master’s Thesis research at MIT on Women Construction Workers in India.

Divya Jindal
Research Associate

Divya Jindal, is an Urbanist, with a masters degree from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands and a Bachelors in Architecture from Chandigarh, India. Divya is a Research Associate at the National Institute of Urban Affairs(NIUA) and is currently involved with a project funded by the Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF),Netherlands on developing Child Friendly Smart Cities. Within the project team, her work is focused on developing urban design guidelines for livable, safer and healthier living environment for children in urban India. She has collated an exhaustive compendium of global good practices for child friendly cities, which can encourage cities to take innovative child friendly initiatives. She has keen interest in strategic urban design development with focus on environment and infrastructure planning.

Prior to NIUA, Divya worked with Dutch urbanist and professor, Frits Palmboom in the Netherlands and did research on porosity in cities focusing on larger parts of Antwerp, Belgium (with Palmbout Urban landscapes) and peri-urban governance and urban planning from infrastructure and environment point of view taking the case of Chandigarh, India. As an architect, Divya worked for over four years in Ahmedabad, India with Prof. B V Doshi, a renowned Indian architect and urban planner.

Jyoti Dash
Housing Expert

Jyoti Dash is an Architect Planner with a Masters in Planning (specialisation Housing) from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and Bachelors in Architecture from Bhubaneswar. She has over six years of diverse experience in research and consultancy projects in urban and infrastructure planning dealing with multiple stakeholders such as government agencies, donor agencies and think tanks. As a Research Fellow at NIUA she has been involved in the CFSC initiative in which she worked on developing a baseline study on urban children in India which captures status of children across key thematic areas from the perspective of urban planning and design.

She is also involved in the Sanitation Capacity Building Platform anchored at NIUA, supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on building capacities of selected cities for improving the sanitation status through decentralised solutions which in turn will improve the health and living conditions of children. Apart from this, she has also been a part of Urban Green Growth Strategies Project at NIUA supported by Global Green Growth Institute, where she complied a detailed set of green growth good practices relevant to the urban development needs and challenges of Indian cities.

Prior to joining NIUA she has worked with the Delhi Development Authority and National Resource Centre (Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation), School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi. Her experience includes projects on urban poverty, community based participatory planning, slum redevelopment, slum free city planning, land-use planning and urban regeneration. She has also been a visiting faculty in Department of housing, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi.

Sean Watson
Summer Intern