Skip to main content
Sweta Byahut

Sweta Byahut

Associate Professor

Political Science

Sweta Byahut

Contact Me


8016 Haley Center

Office Hours

By Appointment


PhD, University of Cincinnati

About Me

Sweta Byahut earned a PhD in Regional Development Planning from the University of Cincinnati in 2012. She holds a Masters in Planning from CEPT University, a Bachelor in Architecture from M. S. University in India, and a Diploma in Land Management from the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies, The Netherlands.

Dr. Byahut has worked for a decade in areas of planning consultancy and applied research in Indian cities, specifically in the areas of planning legislation, development regulation, comprehensive and regional planning, post-earthquake reconstruction, and inner-city revitalization. She drafted amendments to the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act 1957 and wrote building regulations for the cities of Delhi, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, and Bhuj. Early in her career, she obtained an EU grant for applied research and capacity building, the ProVention Applied Research Grant for Young Professionals, and fellowships from the United Nations Environment Program and the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

Dr. Byahut continues to research development regulations and urban land management in Indian cities. Her work is frequently discussed in newspapers (see herehere, and here), and was cited in the Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India by the Niti Ayog (National Planning Commission), Government of India. She received the 2023 Kenneth J. Groves Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award for a Practicing Planner by the Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association, the College of Liberal Arts 2019 Award for Community and Civic Engagement, and the Auburn University 2016 Spirit of Sustainability Award. Dr. Byahut was elected to the Governing Board of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (2023-25), and currently serves on its Global Planning Education Committee as well as the Ad-hoc Committee for pursuing STEM Designation for the field of planning.

Research Interests

planning legislation, development regulation, comprehensive and regional planning, post-earthquake reconstruction, inner city revitalization


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles & Book Chapters

  • LaFrombois, M., S. Byahut, S. Rogers, and C. LeBleu. (forthcoming 2022) “Planning for Green Infrastructure Along the Gulf Coast: An Evaluation of Comprehensive Plans and Planning Practices in the Mississippi-Alabama Coastal Region”, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.
  • Ghosh, S. and S. Byahut. (forthcoming 2022). “Comprehensive Planning Comes a Full Circle in Cincinnati: Insights from the 2012 Plan Cincinnati”, in T. M. V. Kumar ed., Smart Master Planning for Cities, Springer Nature, Singapore.
  • Mahato, B., S. Byahut, and J. Mittal. (forthcoming 2022) “Alabama City Year Program: A two-way tool for planning awareness and recruitment”, in Professional Awareness and Diversity Challenges in Urban Planning Education. Ed.: Hollstien, L, D. Palazzo, and S. Diko, Routledge, Taylor and Francis.
  • Mittal, J., S. Byahut and S. Agarwal (2022). “Transit, Incentive Zoning, and Affordable Housing – A Proposal for Land-Based Financing using Smart ICT Systems”, Chapter 18 in Smart Cities and Smart Communities: Empowering Citizens through Intelligent Technologies. Editors: S. Patnaik, S. Sen, and S. Ghosh, Springer series on Smart Innovation, Systems, and Technologies.
  • Ghosh, S., S. Byahut, C. Masilela. (2021) "An Overview of Climate Protection and Resiliency Planning in the New York Megacity Region" Chapter 12 in Smart Global Megacities: Collaborative Research. Springer Singapore. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-16-2019-5
  • Byahut, S., B. Patel, J. Mehta (2020). Emergence of sub-optimal land utilization patterns in Indian cities. Journal of Urban Design. DOI: 10.1080/13574809.2020.1752646
  • Mittal, J. and S. Byahut (2020) “An analysis of planning initiatives and best practices in Ahmedabad” in D. Rukmana ed., Planning Megacities in the Global South, Routledge, T&F. DOI: 10.4324/9781003038160-26
  • Byahut, S., S. Ghosh and C. Masilela (2020). “Urban transformation for sustainable growth and smart living: The case of the Atlanta Beltline”. in T. M. V. Kumar ed., Smart Living for Smart Cities, Springer Nature, Singapore. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-15-4603-7_2
  • Byahut, S. and J Mittal (2020) “Can haphazard growth in urban villages be planned? Evidence from the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar region in India.” in S. Sen et al. ed., Smart Village Technology: Concepts and Design - Modelling and Optimization in Science and Technology. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-37794-6_7
  • Byahut, S. (2019) “The unique challenges of planning a New Town: The Gandhinagar experience” Urban Design International. DOI: 10.1057/s41289-019-00099-1
  • Mittal, J., L. Forson and S. Byahut (2019). “Creating higher density property development opportunities in fringe areas of Surat – A case of Surat outer ring-road using land readjustment and density bonuses,” in Das et al. ed., Real Estate in South Asia, Routledge, UK.
  • Patel, B., S. Byahut and B. Bhatha (2018). “Building regulations are a barrier to affordable housing in Indian cities - The case of Ahmedabad”, Journal of Housing and the Built Environment. Vo. 33, No. 1, DOI: 10.1007/s10901-017-9552-7
  • Mittal, J., and S. Byahut (2018). Scenic landscapes, visual accessibility and premium values in a single family housing market: A spatial hedonic approach. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, DOI:
  • Ghosh, S., S. Byahut and C. Masilela (2018). “Metropolitan regional scale smart city approaches in a shrinking city in the American rust belt — Case of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania” in T. M. V. Kumar ed. Smart Metropolitan Regional Development: Economic and Spatial Design Strategies, Springer, Singapore. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-10-8588-8_17
  • Byahut, S. and J. Mittal (2017). Using Land readjustment in rebuilding the earthquake-damaged city of Bhuj, India. Journal of Urban Planning and Development, Vol. 143, No. 1, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), DOI:
  • Byahut, S. (2017). “Effective development regulation system for a resilient built environment: A reform project for Delhi, India” in Awotona, A., ed. Planning for community-based disaster resilience worldwide: Learning from case studies in six continents, Routledge: London and New York.
  • Mittal, J. and S. Byahut (2016). “Value capitalization effect of golf course, waterfront and misc. open spaces – A cross disciplinary review”. Journal of Sustainable Real Estate, Vol. 8, No. 1, American Real Estate Society (ARES), DOI:
  • Mittal, J. and S. Byahut (2014). “Regional development dichotomy – A Strategic plan for a balanced development for Vagra-Dahej sub region, Bharuch, India”. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. Vol. 4, No. 7.
  • Byahut, S. (2014). Post-earthquake reconstruction planning using land readjustment in Bhuj, India. Planning Note, Journal of American Planning Association, Vol. 80, No. 4.
  • Byahut, S. (2010). “Climate change and sustainable urban planning strategies for India” in India Infrastructure Report 2010: Infrastructure Development in a Low Carbon Economy, Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

Research Report

  • Vilches, S. L., Byahut, S., Wylam, B. (2020). “Risk Factors vs. Child Abuse and Neglect Reports: An Unexpected Story from Community Maps”. Phase III Report on Community Assets. Prepared by for the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, Social Indicators for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention in Alabama Project. Social Indicators Research Lab, Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University and Alabama Cooperative Extension Services.

Book Reviews

  • Byahut, S. (2021). Review of "Outcaste Bombay: City Making and the Politics of the Poor" by Juned Shaikh, Journal of Urban Affairs.
  • Byahut, S. (2014). Review of “Rethinking a Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking”, by Ben-Joseph, E. Journal of Planning Education and Research, Vol. 34, No. 4.
  • Byahut, S. (2011). Review of “Cities and Suburbs: New Metropolitan Realities in the US” by Hanlon, B., J. R. Short and T. J. Vicino, and “Once the American Dream: Inner Ring Suburbs of the Metropolitan United States” by Hanlon, B. Journal of Urban Affairs, Vol. 33, No. 2.

Coauthored Professional Reports

  • (2007). “Integrating disaster mitigation in urban planning practices in India”, in Innovative initiatives in disaster risk reduction, ProVention Consortium (The World Bank and Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, Bangkok)
  • (2006). “Legal and Administrative Framework for Development Regulation in Gujarat” (funded by the European Union - India SPF Grant # 96-425 and Government of Gujarat). Reports prepared by EPC: (1) Policy agenda and legislative intentions, (2) Proposed amendments to GTP&UD Act, 1976 and Model Protocols, (3) Gujarat PASPRA Business Plan, (4) Proceedings of consultative “Workshop on administrative protocols for regulating development in urban areas of Gujarat” at Vadodara (5) Proceedings of seminar “Professional self-certification in development regulation” at Rajkot, (6) Resource handbook for training program on “Urban Planning and Management” at Ahmedabad, (7) Town Planning Scheme Manual, (8) Model Town Planning Scheme for Adalaj, (9) Report on knowledge transfer tour to UK, (10) Analytical framework for urban land management.
  • (2005). “Enabling area specific building byelaws and local area planning in Delhi” (USAID FIRE-D Project). Reports prepared by EPC: (1) Policy agenda & legislative intentions paper, (2) Proposed new building byelaws for Delhi, (3) Proposed legislative amendments to Delhi Municipal Corporation Act of 1956, (4) Model Local Area Planning.
  • Byahut, S., A. Majumdar, A. Patel, A. Sheth, A. Mitra, R. Moothan and Y. Pandya (2004). “Design Manual for a Barrier-Free Built Environment”. Accessibility design guidebook, published by UNNATI, and Handicap International.
  • (2004). “Rationalizing development control regulations for Ahmedabad City”, funded by the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority and the Asian Development Bank. Report prepared by EPC.
  • (2003). “City Development Strategy for Ahmedabad”, for the World Bank prepared by EPC.
  • (2002). “Development Plan for Bhuj Area Development Authority”, funded by Gujarat Urban Development Company and Asian Development Bank. Reports prepared by EPC: (I) Existing situation, surveys, studies, analysis, policies, proposals, and programmes, (II) General development control regulations, (III) Supporting documents.
  • (2002). “Sub-regional development plan for Vagra-Dahej, Gujarat – Comprehensive regional development strategies and plan for a coastal region”, for UD&UH dept., GoG. Reports prepared by School of Planning, CEPT University.
  • (2001). “Gandhinagar Urban Development Plan and Implementation Strategy”. Reports prepared by EPC: (I) Existing situation analysis, (II) Plan proposals and policies, (III) General development control regulations, (IV) Comprehensive Development Strategy, (V) Implementation & Financial Strategy.
  • (2000). “Reformulation of Development Plan for Fringe Area of Ahmedabad for 2011”. Reports prepared by EPC: (I) Existing situation analysis, (II) Plan proposals and policies, (III) General development control regulations, for Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority.
  • (1998). “Surat Inner City Revitalization Plan”, funded by USAID. Report prepared by EPC and submitted to USAID and SMC (project received the UNCHS 100 Global Best Practices Award).
  • (1997). “Ahmedabad Walled City Revitalization Plan”, funded by USAID.  Report prepared by EPC and submitted to the USAID and AMC (project received the UNCHS 100 Global Best Practices Award).

Courses Taught

  • CPLN 7240: Quantitative Methods for Planning
  • CPLN 7600/7610: Synthesis Studio I/II
  • POLI 7000: Research Methods
  • CPLN 5/6010: Introduction to Planning
  • CPLN 5/6000: History and Theory of Urban Form
  • CPLN 5/6060: Sustainable Transportation Planning
  • CPLN 5/6020: Cities, Planning and Climate Change
  • CPLN 5/6970: Global Cities (Special Topics)
  • SUST 2000: Introduction to Sustainability