Arnab Chakraborty, AICP

Professor of Urban and Regional Planning and Associate Dean, College of Fine and Applied Arts

PhD, University of Maryland-College Park 2007

Room M230 Temple Buell Hall 611 Taft Drive
Champaign IL 61820

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 217.244.8728

Arnab Chakraborty's research concerns critical questions of housing and infrastructure development, and the role of technology in advancing urban analysis and planning. In addition to his academic appointments, he is an editorial board member of the Journal of the American Planning Association and an associate editor of the Journal of Urban Planning and Development. He is an associate dean in the College of Fine and Applied Arts with the responsibility to oversee the college's research support efforts, administer the promotion and tenure process, lead the college's faculty mentoring program, and advise the dean on matters related to faculty affairs.

Professor Chakraborty's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Federal Highway Administration, Urban Institute, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, among others. His ongoing projects include mapping urban vulnerability to climate change, and using scenario analysis techniques to advance long range planning. His current projects are in Champaign-Urbana, Chicago, and India, and involve considerable collaboration with technology companies as well as federal and international organizations.

Professor Chakrabory teaches the following courses on a regular basis: UP 510 Plan Making, UP 547 Regional Planning and Policy, and UP 312 Communication for Planners. He is offering a new online course, UP 433 Scenarios, Plans, and the Future City this summer. Occasionally, he offers UP 543 Environmental Policy and Planning, and study abroad courses. In the past, he has taught Microeconomics of Public Policy and Planning, and GIS. His courses stress the importance of critical thinking and collaboration, and the need to connect techniques learnt in the class to real-world planning situations.

For over fifteen years, Professor Chakraborty has advised and consulted on various land use and transport projects both in the U.S. and abroad. He conducts regular training workshops on scenario analysis at the APA's National Planning Conference, serves on Lincoln Institutes scenario planning expert panel, and has taught short courses internationally, most recently in India, China, Taiwan, Curacao, and the Netherlands.

Prior to his PhD, Professor Chakraborty received a master's degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a bachelor in architecture from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. In the past, he has taught at the Johns Hopkins University and worked for the Chicago Transit Authority. At Illinois, Professor Chakraborty is also associated with the Center for Global Studies, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studeis. He is also an affiliate faculty of the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and site visitor pool of the Planning Accreditation Board.


Ongoing Research Projects

An IDOT supported project to develop Policies and Design Guidelines for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, (with Co-PI Lindsay Braun; PhD student Ouafa Benkraouda) 2019-2021

A multi-institutional NSF award under the Convergence Accelerator program for creating an open knowledge network for civic infrastructure systems, (with PI Nora El-Gohari, PhD student Wataru Morioka, and others) 2019-2020

A Lincoln Institute and Consortium for Scenario Planning supported project to assess the impact of scenario planning efforts on local and regional plans, (with PhD student Stephen Sherman) 2019-2020

A Handbook on Smart Growth (co-edited with Gerrit-Jan Knaap and Rebecca Lewis) 2019-2020

A research project analyzing urban growth, social vulnerability, and land surface temperature in Indian cities (with PhD student Xijing Li) 2018-

Selected Publications

Chakraborty, A. (forthcoming), Comment on Death of Single-Family and It’s Time to End Single-Family Zoning: Calls to end all single-family zoning need more scrutiny, Journal of the American Planning Association

Knaap, G. J., Lewis, R., and Chakraborty, A. editors (forthcoming), A Handbook on Smart Growth, Edgar Elgar Press.

Knaap, G. J., Lewis, R., Chakraborty, A. and June-Freisen, K. (forthcoming), Smart Growth: An Annotated Bibliography, Oxford University Press

Wilson, B., & Chakraborty, A. (2019a). Mapping vulnerability to extreme heat events: Lessons from metropolitan Chicago. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 62(6), 1065–1088.

Wilson, B., & Chakraborty, A. (2019b). Planning Smart(er) Cities: The Promise of Civic Technology. Journal of Urban Technology, 1–23.

Chakraborty, A., & McMillan, A. (2018). Is Housing Diversity Good for Community Stability?: Evidence from the Housing Crisis. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 0739456X18810787.;

Wilson, B. and Chakraborty, A. (2018) Mapping Vulnerability to Extreme Heat Events: Lessons from Metropolitan Chicago. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management,

Wu, Y., Shindnes, G., Karve, V., Yager, D., Work, D. B., Chakraborty, A., & Sowers R. B., (2017) Congestion Barcodes: Exploring the topology of urban congestion using persistent homology, IEEE 20th International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems. arXiv:

Chakraborty, A. & McMillan, A., (2017) “GIS and Scenario Analysis: Tools for Better Urban Planning” in Elsevier Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Systems.

Sarraf, S., Chakraborty, A., Kaza, N., and Bhamidi, V. (2017), Building Energy Disclosure Policy for Indian Cities and States, Proceedings of the AEEE Energy Efficiency Conclave.

McMillan, A. and Chakraborty, A. (2016). Who buys foreclosed homes? How neighborhood characteristics influence REO home sales to investors and households, Housing Policy Debate Vol. 26, nos. 4–5, 766–784,

Chakraborty, A., Wilson, B., Sarraf, S., and Jana, A. (2015). Open data for informal settlements: Toward a user׳ s guide for urban managers and planners. Journal of Urban Management, 4(2), 74-91.

Chakraborty, A., and Allred, D. (2015). Connecting Regional Governance, Urban Form, and Energy Use: Opportunities and Limitations. Current Sustainable/Renewable Energy Reports, 2(3), 114-120.

Zhengtao, Z., Song Y., and Chakraborty, A., (2015) The Practice of Public Participatory Scenario Planning: Lessons Learnt from Experiences of the USA. Urban Planning International (in Chinese) 30 (5) 47-51 ISSN: 1673-9493

Allred, D., and Chakraborty, A. (2015). Do Local Development Outcomes Follow Voluntary Regional Plans? Evidence from Sacramento Region's Blueprint Plan. Journal of the American Planning Association, 81(2), 104-120. This paper was the focus of multiple news articles and blog posts, including an Editorial by the Sacramento Bee:

Chakraborty, A., Wilson, B., and bin Kashem, S. (2015). The pitfalls of regional delineations in land use modeling: Implications for Mumbai region and its planners. Cities, 45, 91-103.

Chakraborty, A., and McMillan, A. (2015). Scenario Planning for Urban Planners: Toward a Practitioner's Guide. Journal of the American Planning Association, 81(1), 18-29.

Wilson, B., and Chakraborty, A. (2013). “The environmental impacts of sprawl: emergent themes from the past decade of planning research” Sustainability 5, 1; doi:10.3390/su50x000x

Mishra, S., Welch, T., and Chakraborty, A. (2013). “An experiment in megaregional road pricing using advanced commuter behavior analysis,” Journal of Urban Planning and Development, doi:10.1061/(ASCE)UP.1943-5444.0000175

Kim J. H., Deal, B. and Chakraborty, A. 2013. “Parsing Density Changes: A framework for outcome-oriented growth management policy analysis,” Journal of Housing and the Built Environment September 28:3, pp 529-546

Chakraborty, A., Allred, D. and Boyer, R. 2013. “Zoning Restrictiveness and Housing Foreclosures: Exploring a New Link to the Subprime Mortgage Crisis” – Housing Policy Debate 23:2 431-457. A forum was organized around this paper with three expert commentaries. DOI:10.1080/10511482.2013.764916

Chakraborty, A., and Mishra, S., “Land Use and Transit Ridership Connections: Implications for State-level Planning Agencies,” Land Use Policy (2013) 30 458-469

Chakraborty, A., Mishra, S., and Kim, Y.W., (2012) “Planning support systems and planning across scales: Comparing scenarios using multiple regional delineations and projections,” URISA Journal: Special Issue on Bridging the Gap Between Modeling and Planning Practice 24:1 49-58

Chakraborty, A., (2012) “Recognizing uncertainty and linked decisions in public participation: A new framework for collaborative urban planning” Systems Research and Behavioral Science: Special issue on Collaborative Problem Solving amid Conflicts 29:2 131–148

Chakraborty, A., Kaza, N., Knaap, G. J. and Deal, B., (2011) “Robust plans and contingent plans: The promise of scenario planning,” Journal of the American Planning Association 77:3 251-266

Chakraborty, A., (2011) “Enhancing the role of participatory scenario planning processes: Lessons from Reality Check exercises,” Futures 43:4 387-399

Chakraborty, A., (2010) “Scenario planning for effective regional governance: Promises and limitations,” State and Local Government Review 42:1 156-167

Deal, B. and Chakraborty, A., (2010) “Cyber-physical planning support systems: Advancing participatory decision-making in complex urban environments,” International Journal of Operations and Quantitative Management 16:4 353-367

Chakraborty, A., Knaap, G. J., Nguyen, D., and Shin, J. H., (2010) “The effects of high density zoning on multifamily housing construction in the suburbs of six U.S. metropolitan areas,” Urban Studies 47:2 437-451

Deal, B., Kim J. H. and Chakraborty, A., (2009) “Growth management and sustainable transport: Do growth management policies promote transit use?” Journal of Public Transportation 12:4 21-40

Bento, A., Lowe, S., Knaap, G. J., and Chakraborty, A., (2009) “Housing market impacts of inclusionary zoning,” Cityscape 11:2 7-26

Knaap, G. J., and Chakraborty, A., (2007) “Comprehensive planning for sustainable rural development,” Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Special Issue on Rural Development Policy; Edward Feser and Andrew Isserman (eds.), 37:1 18-20

Shiffer, M., Chakraborty, A., McNeil, S., Srinivasan, S., Donahue, B., and Garfield, G., (2003) “A spatial multimedia representation of the Chicago Transit Authority's rail infrastructure,” Transportation Research Record 1838, Paper# 03-2582: 1-10

Teaching and Advising

Current courses:

  • UP312: Communication for Planners, Fall 2019
  • UP546: Land Use Policy and Planning

Past courses:

  • UP510: Plan Making
  • UP443: Scenarios, Plans, and Future Cities (online)
  • UP543: Environmental Policy and Planning
  • UP547: Regional Planning and Policy
  • UP594CW: Technology and the Megacity


Current Doctoral Students

  • Ouafa Benkraouda, Regional Planning (chair)
  • Sowmya Balachandran, Regional Planning (committee member)
  • Max Eisenburger, Regional Planning (committee member)
  • Shruti Syal, Regional Planning (committee member)
  • James Allen, Regional Planning (committee member)

Current MUP Capstone Advisees

  • Brent Panozzo
  • Katherine Trotter

Previous Doctoral Students

  • Andrew McMillan, PhD, Regional Planning (Chair, 2017, current Postdoctoral Researchers at the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland at College Park)
  • Dustin Allred, PhD, Regional Planning (Chair, 2013, currently Lecturer of Urban and Regional Planning, UIUC)
  • Dwayne Baker, PhD, Regional Planning (committee member, 2016, currently Instructor, Department of Geography, University of South Carolina)
  • Md. Shakil Bin Kashem, PhD, Regional Planning (committee member, 2014, currently Research Assistant Professor of Geography and GIS, UIUC)
  • Robby Boyer, PhD, Regional Planning (committee member, 2013, currently Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina Charlotte)
  • Jinghuan Li, PhD, “Graphical Approach to XML-Based Information Retrieval System” (Graduated 2009)
  • Gwendolyn Soult, PhD, Human and Community Development

Previous MUP Capstone Advisees (selected)

  • Rojan Joseph, 2018
  • Richa Singh, 2018
  • Sampson Ansah, 2018
  • Sharaj Sundararaman, 2018
  • Matthew Dwight MUP 2017
  • Md Muntasir MUP 2017
  • Ilya Chistyakov MUP 2017
  • Vaneeta Chintamaneni MUP 2014
  • Brett Barkley MUP 2014
  • Myles Alexander MUP 2011
  • Charles Allen, MUP 2010
  • Laura Curvey, MUP 2010
  • John Campbell, MUP 2010
  • Melena Hessel, MUP 2010
  • Brian Sheehan MUP 2009
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