Sai Balakrishnan

Assistant Professor of Urban Planning

Sai Balakrishnan is an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Prior to that, she was an Assistant Professor in International Development at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, and served as a Postdoctoral Scholar at Columbia Law School’s Center on Global Legal Transformations. She has also worked as an urban planner in the United States, India, and the United Arab Emirates, as a consultant to the UN-HABITAT in Nairobi, Kenya, and has served as a Research Fellow at the Land Governance Laboratory (LGLab), a Cambridge-based not-for-profit organisation which studies and disseminates tools for inclusive land resource allocation in rapidly urbanising countries.

Through her research and teaching, Balakrishnan focuses on institutions for governing rapid urbanization, and on the spatial politics of land-use and property. Her work has been published in Pacific Affairs, Economic and Political Weekly, and in edited book chapters. Her book, titled “Shareholder Cities: Agrarian to Urban Land Transformations along Economic Corridors in Liberalizing India” is forthcoming from University of Pennsylvania Press.

Balakrishnan holds a Master’s Degree in City Planning from MIT, a Master’s Degree in Urban Design from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Urban Planning from Harvard University. Her doctoral dissertation was awarded the 2014 Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) Gill Chin Lim Award for Best Dissertation on International Planning.