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Aparna Das

Aparna Das


  • Urbanization processes experienced by countries in the global South, with a specific focus on housing and urban spatial planning. Issues such as land tenure, the land and housing market, informal real estate markets, and access to basic services in slums and informal settlements. Additionally, the evolving role of public institutions over time and their interactions with existing social networks.

Ms. Aparna Das is an architect by training who furthered her education with a Master of Science degree in Urban Development Planning from The Development Planning Unit at University College London. Additionally, she was a Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, during the academic year (2018 – 2019). In her career spanning over twenty years, Ms. Das has held significant roles, including Deputy Leader and Senior Advisor, within the Inclusive Cities Partnership Project and Sustainable Urban Development – Smart Cities (SUD-SC) project at GIZ. In her professional journey she has collaborated closely with various stakeholders, including line ministries of the Government of India at central, state, and local levels, to implement diverse housing and urban development programs.

Ms. Das has cultivated partnerships with national and international NGOs, as well as multi- and bilateral agencies such as the World Bank, UNICEF, UNDP, and DFID, India. In her recent focus, she has directed her attention towards the complexities surrounding land contestations in urban areas and equity issues within cities in the global South.

Research Topic

Deindustrialization in Jute Mills Settlements and its Impact on the City Morphology (Land and Property Markets) in West Bengal, India

Case Studies: Jute Mills in Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA), West Bengal, India


Dr Claudia Murray Claudia Murray | Henley Business School and Prof Angelique Chettiparamb Angelique Chettiparamb | Henley Business School


MSc in Development and Planning: Urban Development Planning from The Development Planning Unit, University College London, United Kingdom

Bachelor’s degree in architecture from The Institute of Environmental Design, Vallabh Vidya Nagar, Gujarat, India, 1991.


Henley Business School PhD Studentship

Served as a Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) Fellow ( 2018-2019) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Awarded a fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in 2010.

Awarded Nuffic (Netherlands) scholarships to attend a short course on Land Management in Informal Settlements at the Institute of Housing Studies, Netherlands, in 2009.

Received the Otto-Koensberg and David Thomas Award from DPU in 2000.


Habitat Report III, 2016, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India.( part of the drafting team).

Demystifying urban land tenure issues: The curious case of small cities in India- A case study of Odisha, GIZ publication, 2017.

Exploring feasibility of Land Pooling/Land Readjustment instruments in informal settlements – a perspective from the ground, ASCI, Journal of Management, Hyderabad, India, Vol 49, No 2 (Spl),2020.

Importance of Including Revenue Administration in Implementing Inclusive Housing Programme, Shelter, HUDCO Publication, 2022.

Strengthening Coimbatore City Plans - waterbodies and informal settlements, GIZ, 2021.

Slum Upgrading and Women’s Empowerment: The experience in Titagarh, West Bengal, Social Change, December 2005.

Published an article in “Implementing the Habitat Agenda” published by DFID, DPU, 2001