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Sarbeswar Praharaj

Asst Research Professor (FSC)
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 5302
Senior Global Futures Scientist
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 5302
Assistant Research Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 5302

Sarbeswar Praharaj (Ph.D.) is the Associate Director (Data & Visualization) and Assistant Research Professor at the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University (ASU). He is a Senior Global Futures Scientist at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures LaboratoryHe works closely with the PLUS Alliance Fellows across ASU, Kings College London, and UNSW Sydney, tackling global urbanization challenges with an aim to build smart, healthy, and accessible cities. Dr. Praharaj leads research on smart cities, critical urban studies, data visualization and dashboards, and resilience. He engages in research-led interactive teaching and learning pedagogies in urban planning and geographical science.

Most recognized among his works in the United States is the Economic Resilience Dashboard, which visualizes near-real-time data from different authorities to help understand how cities and counties in Arizona are tackling the economic crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. He led the development of a transformative approach to poverty measures through the Household Expenditure and Income Gap Highlighter Tool (HEIGHT). The research reveals the increasing gap between household income and living costs and identifies the neighborhoods and groups (race/ethnicity and women-headed households) most impacted by poverty for policy development. Dr. Praharaj designed the COVID-19 Mobility Analytics Platform, which tracks human mobility during the pandemic with direct data APIs from Apple, Google, and Descartes Labs. He built the Temperature Change Tracking Tool for cities in Maricopa County, visualizing 100 years of temperature data providing deep and historical insight on the urban heat phenomenon facing the desert cities.

Before joining ASU, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher and Manager of the City Analytics Lab at the City Futures Research Center, UNSW Sydney, Australia. While at UNSW, he was involved in developing Australia’s ground-breaking data-driven property valuation tool - RAISE and authored the Strathfield Smart City Roadmap for the Sydney Council. Dr. Praharaj established and coordinated the Australia-India Smart Cities Knowledge Exchange Network and was designated as a Global Tech Fellow for spearheading research collaboration with the member institutions of the Global Alliance of Technological Universities. He also facilitated Pune Smart City Living Lab’s setup through a tr-university partnership between ASU, Kings College London, and UNSW Sydney as part of the PLUS Alliance network. Sarbeswar has received competitive grant funding from the Australia-India Council and Australia-Kora Foundation and was awarded the UNSW International Postgraduate Research Scholarship for his Ph.D. 

Dr. Praharaj has consulted for clients such as The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Cities Alliance, the Global Land & Tools Network, and Government of India during his tenure as the Project Manager at CEPT University Research and Development Foundation in India. He was appointed as the Assistant Professor and Head of the Urban Planning Department at LPU Punjab University in India. Sarbeswar completed two postgraduate master’s degrees in Urban Planning and Geography. He received his Ph.D. in Urban Development and Smart Cities from UNSW Sydney.


2015 - 2019     PhD in Urban Planning and Smart Cities, UNSW Sydney

2009 - 2011     Master of Urban Planning (Housing), CEPT University

2006 - 2008     Master of Science in Geography, University of Calcutta

2003 - 2006     Bachelor of Science in Geography, University of Calcutta


Journal Papers

  • Praharaj, S., Kaur, H., and Wentz, E. 2022. The Spatial Association of Demographic and Population Health Characteristics with COVID-19 Prevalence Across Districts in India. Geographical Analysis.

  • Praharaj, S., & Han, H. 2021. Human mobility impacts on the surging incidence of COVID‐19 in India. Geographical Research.

  • Leao, S.Z., van den Nouwelant, R., Shi, V., Han, H., Praharaj, S. and Pettit, C.J., 2021. A rapid analytics tool to map the effect of rezoning on property values. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems86, p.101572.
  • Praharaj, S. (2021). Area-Based Urban Renewal Approach for Smart Cities Development in India: Challenges of Inclusion and Sustainability. Urban Planning6(4), 202-215.
  • Solís, P., Dasarathy, G., Turaga, P., Drake, A., Vora, K. J., Sajja, A., ... & Lattus, R. 2021. Understanding the Spatial Patchwork of Predictive Modeling of First Wave Pandemic Decisions by US Governors. Geographical Review, 1-24.
  • Alic, D., Drummond, A., Praharaj, S., & Peacock, J. 2021. Leveraging the capabilities of sessional teachers in design education. International Journal of Design Education, 15(1), 131-143. 10.18848/2325-128X/CGP/V15I01/131-143
  • Praharaj, S., King, D., Pettit, C., and Wentz, E., 2020. Using Aggregated Mobility Data to Measure the Effect of COVID-19 Policies on Mobility Changes in Sydney, London, Phoenix, and Pune. Transport Findings, October.
  • Wang, C., Li, Z., Clay Mathews, M., Praharaj, S., Karna, B. and Solís, P., 2020. The spatial association of social vulnerability with COVID-19 prevalence in the contiguous United States. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, pp.1-8. doi: 10.1080/09603123.2020.1847258
  • Praharaj, S., Vaidya, H. (2020). The Urban Dimension of COVID-19 in India: COVID Outbreak and Lessons for Future Cities. Smartnet. National Institute of Urban Affairs. Pages 1-9.
  • Praharaj, S., Han, H. (2019). Cutting through the clutter of smart city definitions: A reading into the smart city perceptions in India. City Culture and Society. Volume 18.
  • Praharaj, S. and Han, H. (2019). Building a typology of the 100 smart cities in India. Smart and Sustainable Built Environment. Volume 8, No. 5, Pages 400-414.
  • Praharaj, S., Han, H., Hawken, S. (2018). Urban innovation through policy integration: Critical perspectives from 100 Smart Cities Mission in India. City Culture and Society, Volume 12, Pages 35-43.
  • Praharaj, S., Han, H., Hawken, S. (2018). Towards the Right Model of Smart City Governance in India. Int. J. Sus. Dev. Plann, WIT Press, UK. Volume 13, No 2, Pages 171-186. 10.2495/SDP-V13-N2-171-186
  • Praharaj, S., Han, H. and Hawken, S. (2017). Innovative civic engagement and digital urban infrastructure: Lessons from 100 Smart Cities Mission in India. Procedia Engineering, Volume 180, Pages 1423-1432. 
  • Hawken, S. and Praharaj, S. (2016). Leaders in Thought: Driving Urban Innovation. Australia and New Zealand Property Journal, vol. March Vol 5, Pages 254 – 255.
  • Acharya, S., Bandyopadhyay, S. and Praharaj, S. (2012). Carbon Intensive Urbanization, Climate Variability and Urban Vulnerabilities in Hill Areas: A Case of Gangtok Urban Region, Sikkim, Journal of International Development and Co-operation, Volume 18, Issue 4, Pages 93-112. DOI: 10.15027/33191

Book Chapters  

  • Praharaj, S. (2022). Re-connecting Communities with Public Spaces: A Proposal for Rejuvenation of Sacred Kunds in the Historic City of Varanasi. In: Singh, R.S., Dahiya, B., Singh, A.K., Poudel, P.C. (eds) Practising Cultural Geographies. Advances in 21st Century Human Settlements. Springer, Singapore.

  • Praharaj, S. (2020). Development Challenges of the Big Data Command and Control Centres for Smart Cities in India. In: Biloria N. (eds) Data-driven Multivalence in the Built Environment (pp. 75-90). Springer, Cham.
  • Praharaj, S., Bandyopadhyay, S. (2020). Understanding the Open Data Challenge for Building Smart Cities in India. In: Hawken S., Han H., Pettit C. (eds) Open Cities Open Data: collaborative cities in the information era (pp 359-382). Palgrave Macmillan - Springer, Cham.
  • Praharaj, S., Han, H., Hawken, S. (2018). Evolving a Locally Appropriate Indicator System for Benchmarking Sustainable Smart Cities in India. In: Leal Filho W., Rogers J., Iyer-Raniga U. (eds) Sustainable Development Research in the Asia-Pacific Region (pp. 253-274). World Sustainability Series. Springer, Cham.
  • Praharaj, S. (2014). Conservation and urban renewal as a base for sustainable development in historic cities: A case of Varanasi. In: Mishra, C.G. (eds) Sustainable Constructivism: Traditional vis-à-vis Modern Architecture (pp. 167-174). Excellent Publishing House, New Delhi.
  • Praharaj, S. (under review 2020). Re-connecting Communities with Public Spaces: A Proposal for Rejuvenation of Sacred kunds in the Historic city of Varanasi, India, In: Dahiya B., Singh, R. (eds) Contemporary Cultural Geographies: Contexts, Forms and Practices. Springer, Cham.  

Conference Papers

Technical Reports

Research Activity: 

Competitive Research Grants

  • A Framework to Measure Social and Economic Well-being from Smart Cities Infrastructure, Institute for Social Science Research, 2021. 
  • Chief Investigator (CI), Making Cities Safer for Women and Children with Smart Technology, Australia-Korea Foundation, 2018
  • Recipient, Global Tech Fellowship Grant, Global Tech Alliance, 2017
  • Chief Investigator (CI), A knowledge exchange network between Australian and Indian smart cities, Australia-India Council, 2016
  • Recipient, PhD Publication Grant, UNSW Sydney, 2019
  • UNSW International PhD scholarship, UNSW Sydney, 2015
  • Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), Ministry of HRD Government of India, 2014


Spring 2022
Course NumberCourse Title
PUP 544Urban Land Use Planning
Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
LIA 194Special Topics

Towards a socially equitable approach to urban resilience assessment, Eco-city World Summit 2022, 22-24 February 2022, TU Delft Rotterdam, Netherlands. Web Link 

Designing Geospatial Information Dashboards as Decision-support Systems for Smart and Resilient Cities, UCGIS Symposium 2021: Advancing GIScience-informed Policy Solutions, 9 June 2021, University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, Washington, D.C. Web Link

Deploying Geospatial Visualization Dashboards to Combat the Economic Impacts of COVID-19, International Symposium on Geospatial Approaches to Combating Covid-19, 13-14 December 2021, International Cartographic Association, Florence, Italy. Web Link

Modernizing City Planning with Big Data, 4th Neo-International Conference on Habitable Environments, 12-13 November 2021, Lovely Professional University and Indian Institute of Architects, India. Web Link

Smart analytics for shaping future cities, Part of Analytical, Environmental & Forensic Sciences Seminar, Kings College London, 20 August 2019, London, UK. Web Link

Leveraging big data and city analytics tool for shaping smart cities in Australia, Smart Cities Stakeholder Workshop, UNSW City Analytics Lab, 10 September 2019, Sydney. Web Link

Exploring Pune as  Living Lab: Digital City, Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd., 5-6 July 2019. Pune, India. Web Link

Making cities safer for women and children with smart technology, UNSW Smart Cities Research Cluster, 29-30 April 2019, Sydney, Australia. Web Link

Smart cities technology global exchange and business opportunities, 3rd Smart Cities and Urban Transformation Forum, Hotel Windsor Melbourne, 24-26 October 2018, Melbourne. Web Link

A Sustainability Analytics Platform for Smart Policymaking in India, The 10th GRIHA Summit, India Habitat Centre, 11 – 13 December 2018, New Delhi, India. Web Link

City Anatomy – A Planning Decision-Support System for Smart Cities in India,12th World Congress of the RSAI: Spatial Systems, BITS Pilani KK Birla Goa Campus, 29 May – 1 June 2018, Goa. Web Link

Data and technologies for shaping smart cities, Smart City India 2018 Expo, Pragati Maidan, 23 May 2018, New Delhi. Web Link

Towards the right model of smart city governance. 9th International Conference on Sustainable Development & Planning, University of West England, 29 June 2017, Bristol. Web Link

How can cities become intelligent and responsive in the digital age? Institute of Town Planners India, 9 December 2017, Kolkata. Web Link 

Smart cities technological applications in heritage management, Heritage and smart city fusion workshop, Gujarat Technological University, 27 November, Ahmedabad. Web Link

Cities of the Future - Global Fellows Program, Technical University of Munich, 24-28 July 2017, Munich. Web Link

Smart cities for a better tomorrow, Smart City Summit Raipur, VW Canyon, 24 May 2017, Raipur. Web Link

Towards collaborative Smart cities, Australia-India Smart Cities Knowledge Exchange Network Workshop, India Habitat Centre, 27 April 2017, New Delhi. Web Link

Evolving a Locally Appropriate Indicator System for Benchmarking Sustainable Smart Cities in India, Symposium on Sustainable Development Research in Asia-Pacific, RMIT University, 25 July 2017, Melbourne. Web Link

Global opportunities for local smart cities. Smart Cities and Informed Urbanisation Workshop, UNSW Sydney, 6 April 2017, Sydney. Web Link

Harnessing the Power of Open Data and Collaborative Governance for Smart Cities, Smart City Expo World Forum, International Convention Centre, 31 August 2017, Sydney. Web Link

Smart cities and urban innovation, VIVID Sydney – Smart Cities Workshop, The Concourse Civic Pavillion, 1 June 2016, Sydney. Web Link

Smart energy for smarter cities, Australia Utility Week, Australian Technology Park, 30 November 2016, Sydney. Web Link

Innovative Civic Engagement and Digital Urban Infrastructure: Lessons from 100 Smart Cities Mission in India, Sustainable Built Environment 2016 Sydney Conference, Australian Maritime Museum, 17 November 2016, Sydney. Web Link

Honors / Awards: 

FY2022 Merit Award for Teaching, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, ASU

SUN Award for Exemplary Research and Innovation, Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, ASU


Book Proposal Reviewer, Routledge, Taylor & Francis

Advisory Board Member, Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Journal Reviewer, Cities, Elsevier

Journal Reviewer, GeoJournal, Springer

Journal Reviewer, City, Culture and Society, Elsevier

Journal Reviewer, Journal of Planning Literature, SAGE

Journal Reviewer, Sustainability, MDPI

Journal Reviewer, Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Emerald Publishing

Journal Reviewer, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis

Journal Reviewer, Progress in Planning, Elsevier

Journal Reviewer, International Journal of Urban Sciences, Taylor & Francis

Journal Reviewer, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, The Royal Society

Professional Associations: 

Member - American Planning Association

Member - American Association of Geographers

Fellow - Institute of Town Planners India

Member of Urban Commission - International Geographical Union

Work History: 

2020 - present, Assistant Research Professor - School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Associate Director - Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, Senior Global Futures Scientist - Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, Arizona State University

2016 - 2020, Postdoctoral researcher and Manager of City Analytics Lab, Sessional Academic - Faculty of Built Environment, Associate and Grant Project Coordinator - Smart Cities Research Cluster, UNSW Sydney

2014 - 2015, Research Fellow - Future of Cities, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

2012 - 2014, Assistant Professor and Head, Urban Planning Department, LPU University

2011 - 2012, Research Fellow and Project Manager, CEPT University