Department of Political Science

Sweta Byahut

Sweta Byahut MCP Director & Associate Professor
8052 Haley Center
(334) 844-8436

Office Hours

  • By appointment


Dr. Byahut earned a PhD in Regional Development Planning from the University of Cincinnati in 2012. She received a Master in Planning from CEPT University in 1997 and a Bachelor in Architecture from M.S. University in India in 1995. She also has a Diploma in Land Management from the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies, The Netherlands.

Before joining academia Dr. Byahut worked for a decade in planning consultancy and applied research with Environmental Planning Collaborative (EPC), a not-for-profit planning and development management firm based in Ahmedabad, India. She has worked 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 development regulations for the cities of Delhi, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, and Bhuj. Dr. Byahut was a PI for a EU grant for applied research and capacity building in partnership with Gujarat government and the Institute of Civil Engineers, UK. Early in her career she received the ProVention Applied Research Grant for Young Professionals and fellowships from the United Nations Environment Program and the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

Dr. Byahut continues her research on development regulations and urban land management with Indian collaborators. She is also interested in the application of spatial analysis tools in built-form analysis. She recently completed a multi-year grant from the Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant Consortium to determine the impact of landscape patterns on stormwater runoff. Dr. Byahut received the College of Liberal Arts 2019 Award for Community and Civic Engagement and the 2016 Spirit of Sustainability Award from the Office of Sustainability, Auburn University. Her students regularly receive the Distinguished Leadership Award for a Planning Student/Team (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2013) from the Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Representative Publications

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

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

Byahut, S. (2019) “The unique challenges of planning a New Town: The Gandhinagar experience” Urban Design International. DOI: 10.1057/s41289-019-00099-1

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:

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:

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.

Peer Reviewed Book Chapters

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

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

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.

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. (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.

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.


Professional Reports

Byahut, S. and D. Parikh (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)

B. Patel, S. Byahut, B.R. Balachandran, (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.

Patel, B., R. M. Kapoor, S. Byahut, S. Vohra, B.R. Balachandran (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 (

Patel, B., B.R. Balachandran, S. Byahut (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.

Patel, B., B. R. Balachandran, S Ballaney, S. Byahut (2003). “City Development Strategy for Ahmedabad”, for the World Bank prepared by EPC.

Patel, B., B.R. Balachandran, S. Ballaney, S. Byahut et al. (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.

Swamy, S., J. Mittal and S. Byahut (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.

Patel, B., B. R. Balachandran, S. Byahut (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.

Patel, B., B. R. Balachandran, J. Mittal, S. Byahut (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.

Patel, B., B. R. Balachandran, J. Mittal, S. Byahut (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).

Patel, B., B. R. Balachandran, J. Mittal, S. Byahut (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).

Classes Taught

  • CPLN 7420: Quantitative Methods for Planning
  • CPLN 7610: Synthesis Studio 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

Last Updated: September 08, 2021