Champaka Rajagopal

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Cities and Regions
  • Intersecting Research and Practice
  • Urban policy, Governance and Planning
  • Planning for integrated Spatial, Economic and Social development
  • Urban Data Governance
  • Participatory Planning and Decision making
  • Relationships between States and Firms
  • Intersections between Urban and Infrastructure Governance and Planning


I am an independent practitioner and researcher in urban policy, planning and governance. With over twenty years of experience of having worked with national, state and local governments in India and abroad, my work cuts across multiple scales and sectors of urban and regional development.

I am visiting faculty at the School of Policy & Governance, Azim Premji University, where I am Coordinator, the Hub for Law and Policy.

Prior to joining Azim Premji University, I was Head, Urban Development at Egis India Consulting Engineers Pvt. Ltd., During this time I co-led and worked on several large scale public sector projects including the Development Plan for Greater Mumbai 2034, with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and the Revised Master Plan for Bengaluru 2015, with the Bangalore Development Authority. 

I hold a doctoral degree in Planning and International Development Studies from the University of Amsterdam, a Masters’ Degree in Urban Design from University of California at Berkeley, USA and an undergraduate degree in Architecture from Centre for Environmental Planning & Technology, Ahmedabad, India. I am a recipient of Oxford University’s PhD Grant in Global Challenges in Transport Studies (2019). My doctoral research investigates the production and distribution of financial risks in Public Private Partnerships in transport infrastructure. 

Knowing the challenges of persuading policy decisions in public interest, and to hone my skills for advancing collaborative urban practice, I trained at the Haas Business School at UC Berkeley on Leadership Skills for Women Executives, in 2015. 

Presently, I also serve as visiting faculty at SciencesPo, Paris, where drawing on my international experience, I conduct a workshop on a critical reading of urban planning practices across cities internationally. The SciencesPo Ecole Urbain invited me, along with Ms. Emmanuelle COSSE, former Union Minister for Housing, France, to deliver the Inaugural Lecture for the Masters’ Programme in Governing the Large Metropolis, August 2021.


News media and online publications

  • Kothari, J & Rajagopal, C. (2021, June). The Central Vista Project and the Loss of the Public-Trust Doctrine. Article 14.
  • Krishnaswamy, S., Rajagopal, C., & Idiculla, M. (2018, January). BDA’s master plan goes from compact to urban sprawl. Deccan Herald.
  • Krishnaswamy, S, Rajagopal, C, & Idiculla, M. (2017, March). Planning for Bengaluru; A five part Series. The Hindu, February.
  • Rajagopal, C & Krishnankutty. (2016, July). What it Means to Reduce Planning Norms for Amenities, M, The Hindu.
  • Mohan, A & Rajagopal, C. (2011). Outsourcing Governance? Revised Master Plan for Bangalore 2015. ISOCARP. http://​www​.iso​carp​.net/​D​a​t​a​/​c​a​s​e​_​s​t​u​d​i​e​s​/​1​8​1​0.pdf
  • Ghosh, A & Rajagopal, C. (2005). Bangalore’s Deluge. The Hindu, Survey of the Environment.

Book chapter

  • Rajagopal, C. (2015). Reciprocity as Regulation, Methodologies for Urban Design for the Informal Economy of the Historic Pete, in Basile, Elisabetta, Harriss-White, Barbara, Lutringer, Christine (Ed). Mapping India’s Capitalism: Old & New Regions. Palgrave.