Department of Political Science

Sweta Byahut

Sweta Byahut 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 obtained a Master's in Planning from CEPT University in 1997 and a Bachelor's in Architecture from M.S. University in India in 1995. She also has a post-graduate Diploma in Land Management and Informal Settlements Regularization from the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies, The Netherlands.

Before entering academia, Dr. Byahut worked for a decade in professional 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 on planning legislation, development regulation, comprehensive/development plans, regional planning, post-earthquake reconstruction planning and inner city revitalization planning. She has drafted proposed 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 major European Union grant for applied research and capacity building (in partnership with Gujarat state 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 to research development regulations and land management with Indian collaborators, and is investigating the emergence of sub-optimal land utilization patterns in Indian cities. Her interests also include the application of spatial analysis tools in built-form analysis. She is a GIS Collaborator on a project from the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, and a Co-PI on a multi-year grant from the Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. Dr. Byahut received the 2019 Award for Community and Civic Engagement given by the College of Liberal Arts and the 2016 Spirit of Sustainability faculty award from the Office of Sustainability, Auburn University. She regularly receives teaching awards, including the Distinguished Leadership Award for a Planning Student/Team in 2018, 2017, 2016, and in 2013 from the Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Representative Publications

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Mittal, J. L. Forson and S. Byahut (2019) “Creating real estate development opportunities via land readjustment and density bonuses to address urban growth — A case of Surat outer ring road, India” in, Real Estate in South Asia, Routledge, UK.

Byahut, S. “The unique challenges of planning a New Town: The Gandhinagar experience” (forthcoming) Urban Design International.

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

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 Smart Metropolitan Regional Development: Economic and Spatial Design Strategies, (Ed.) T. M. V. Kumar. Springer, Singapore.

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:

Byahut, S. (2017). “Effective development regulation system for a resilient built environment: A reform project for Delhi, India” in Planning for community-based disaster resilience worldwide: Learning from case studies in six continents, (Ed.) Awotona, A. 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.

Book Reviews

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 etal. (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
  • POLI 7000 Research Methods
  • CPLN 7610 Synthesis Studio 2
  • CPLN 5000/6000 History and Theory of Urban Form
  • CPLN 5010/6010 Introduction to Planning
  • CPLN 5060/6060 Sustainable Transportation Planning (Seminar)
  • CPLN 5020/6020 Cities, Planning, and Climate Change (Seminar)
  • CPLN 5970/6970 Global Cities (Special Topics in Planning)
  • SUST 2000 Introduction to Sustainability

Last Updated: May 16, 2019