Arnab Chakraborty, AICP

Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning and Dean's Fellow

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
Fax: 217.244.1717

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 also the Dean's Fellow in the College of Fine and Applied Arts with primary roles in research funding administration and advising faculty members seeking external grants.

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

Advanced scenario planning tool for heat vulnerability and exposure mapping in Chicago (funded by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, with Professor Bev Wilson),

Connecting social vulnerability to flooding risk and evacuation in Peoria, IL

An evaluation of the influence of zoning and local regulatory environment on housing price and foreclosure risk (funded by the National Science Foundation, abstract)

Employing Big and Open Data in understanding megacities and emergent behavior for resilience planning; currently focused on New York and Mumbai

Selected Publications

Chakraborty, A. & McMillan, A. (2017). GIS and Scenario Analysis: Tools for Better Urban Planning, Edited by Yan Song and Bo Huang, Comprehensive GIS Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, ISBN: 978-0-12-409548-9

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

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

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

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

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, Special Issue on Big Data/Open Data 4(2), 74-91

Allred, D., & 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.

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

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

Wilson, B., and Chakraborty, A. 2013. “The environmental impacts of sprawl: emergent themes from the past decade of planning research” Sustainability  5, 1-x manuscripts; 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., and Mishra, S. 2013. “Land Use and Transit Ridership Connections: Implications for State-level Planning Agencies,” Land Use Policy 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 Practice24:1 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 16:3 353-367

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 (2009) 11:2 7-26 [A version of this article was later included in a book, The Affordable Housing Reader, edited by J. Rosie Tighe and Elizabeth Mueller and published by Routledge in October 2012]

Knaap, G. J., 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., Garfield, G. 2003. "A Spatial Multimedia Representation of the Chicago Transit Authority's Rail Infrastructure", Transportation Research Record 1838, Paper# 03-2582: pp 1-10

Teaching and Advising

Classes taught

  • UP312: Communication for Planners (Fall 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014)
  • UP547: Regional Planning and Policy (Fall 2012, 2014)
  • UP510: Plan Making (Fall 2008, 2009, 2010, Spring 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • UP543: Environmental Policy and Planning (Spring 2013)
  • UP547 (old): Growth Management and Regional Planning (Spring 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • 420.633.01: Introduction to GIS, Johns Hopkins University (Winter 2006)
  • URSP606: Microeconomics of Policy and Planning, Univ. of Maryland (Fall 2006)

Current advising

Doctoral Students

  • Andrew McMillan, Regional Planning (chair)
  • Md. Shakil Bin Kashem, Regional Planning (committee member)
  • Dwayne Baker, Regional Planning (committee member)

MUP Students

  • Vaneeta Chintamaneni (Thesis MUP Chair)
  • Brett Barkeley (Thesis MUP Chair)

Previous advising

    Doctoral Students
  • Dustin Allred, Regional Planning (Chair, Graduated 2013, currently Lecturer of Urban and Regional Planning, UIUC)
  • Jinghuan Li, PhD, “Graphical Approach to XML-Based Information Retrieval System” (Graduated 2009)
  • Gwendolyn Soult, PhD Candidate, Human and Community Development
  • Robby Boyer, PhD, Regional Planning (Graduated 2013)

MUP Capstone Advisor

  • Charles Allen, MUP 2010, Laura Curvey, MUP 2010, John Campbell, MUP 2010, Melena Hessel, MUP 2010, “Comp. Plan for DeWitt County, IL”
  • Myles Alexander, MUP 2011, “Organizational Options for the University District Development Association, Spokane, WA”

MUP Thesis Committee Member

  • Brian Sheehan, MUP 2009
  • Frank Dinovo, MUP Candidate
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