An award-winning urbanist, Dr. Bharat Dahiya combines academic research, policy analysis and development practice aimed at examining and tackling current social, economic, environmental and governance issues in the global urban context and at multiple geographical scales.

By academic training, Bharat is a Social Scientist and Urban & Regional Planner. He holds a PhD in Urban Governance, Planning and the Environment from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. He completed his M.A. in Geography from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Master of Planning from School of Planning and Architecture, both based in New Delhi.

Since early-1990s, Bharat’s research and professional work has focused on sustainable urbanization, strategic urban planning and development, urban upgrading, sustainable and inclusive cities, urban environment, infrastructure and resilience, and urban governance. Working with the World Bank, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the Asian Development Bank, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), he has provided policy advice and technical support to national and local governments. He led the Knowledge Generation and Management Programme at the UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (Fukuoka). Working with the international development bank and UN agencies, he has initiated, led and contributed to international projects on sustainable urban development, planning and governance.

At UN-Habitat, Bharat conceptualized and coordinated the United Nations inaugural report on The State of Asian Cities 2010/11. Hailed as a “benchmark report”, it reviewed the demographic, economic, poverty, environment and governance dimensions of contemporary Asian cities and on-going urbanization. At the World Bank headquarters, Washington DC, he conducted the first-ever systematic review of the Bank’s investments for improving urban liveability that was published as a co-authored book, Urban Environment and Infrastructure: Toward Livable Cities. He has written in international peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes, in addition to preparing policy, strategy and project papers for the World Bank and United Nations. More recently, he co-authored Partnering for Sustainable Development: Guidelines for Multi-stakeholder Partnerships to Implement the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific (UNU-IAS and UN-ESCAP, 2018). Bharat is co-editor of New Urban Agenda in Asia-Pacific: Governance for Sustainable and Inclusive Cities (Springer, 2020).

In recent years, Bharat has held several academic positions: Visiting Professor at the School of Government and Public Policy (Indonesia); Visiting Research Fellow at Curtin University (Australia); Senior Advisor and Visiting Researcher at Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), and Adjunct Faculty at the Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand).

Bharat serves on the editorial boards of Environment and Urbanization Asia, Journal of Urban Culture Research, National Geographical Journal of India, and ICON: Journal of Archaeology and Culture. Reuters, Inter Press Service, SciDev.Net, Nishi-Nippon, The Korean Economic Daily, China Daily and its Asia Weekly, The Hindu, Deccan Herald, Bangkok Post, The Nation, UB Post, The Sunday Times, and Urban Gateway have quoted his work.

For his contributions to sustainable urban development in Mongolia, the Municipal Government of Ulaanbaatar decorated Bharat with a Medal of Honour, and the Government of Mongolia awarded him with a Certificate of Honour. Reuters, Inter Press Service and SciDev.Net have quoted Bharat’s work.