Priyam Das

Priyam Das, Faculty, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, UH Mānoa

Associate Professor, Department Chair
Saunders 107J
(808) 956-2780

Areas of Interest

Water Governance, Social and Environmental Justice, Urban Poverty, Climate Adaptation, Urban Form, Resilient Design, Planning Pedagogy


  • Ph.D., Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.L.A., Landscape Architecture, The Pennsylvania State University
  • B.Arch., Architecture, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, India


  • UHM Chancellor’s Award for Meritorious Teaching, 2014, 2018
  • Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture 2021 Course Development Prize in Architecture, Climate Change, and Society 
  • ACSA Collaborative Practice Award 2020 for the Waipahu Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Collaboration


Dr. Das studies water governance in the global South, particularly the barriers to extending water and wastewater infrastructure and services to settlements outside so-called formal planning systems. Broadly framed by two key questions – to what extent are such barriers related to issues of governance and how do strategies deployed by different actors to improve access to such services inform planning and policy – her research sharpens focus on problems of inequality, poverty, and disenfranchisement. 

Courses Instructed

  • PLAN 310 Introduction to Planning
  • PLAN 602 Advanced Planning Theory
  • PLAN 628 Urban Environmental Problems
  • PLAN 630 Urban and Regional Planning in Asia (co-taught)
  • PLAN 650 Research Design Seminar
  • PLAN 678 Site Planning
  • PLAN 741 Seminar in Planning Theory: Urban Form
  • PLAN 751 Planning Practicum
  • Graphic Communication for Planners Workshop (co-taught) 

Selected Books and Publications

Das, P., Sherpa, L., and Das, A. 2022. “Enabling urban resilience: Basic services, informality, and livelihoods.” In Das, A. and Susantono, B. (Eds.). Informal services in Asian cities: Lessons for urban planning and management from the COVID-19 pandemic. Asian Development Bank Institute Publications.   

Das, P., Y. Tadj, S. Cloudwatcher, and C. Ho-Schar. 2020. Future planning practitioners and the ‘Waipahu Talk Story’: Learning from and reflecting on participation. Journal of Planning Education and Research doi:10.1177/0739456X20954536

Das, P. and J. Crowley. 2018. Sanitation for all: A Panglossian perspective? Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development.

Powell, R. B., T. F. Green, P. J. Holladay, K. E. Krafte, M. Duda, M. T. Nguyen, J. H. Spencer, and P. Das. 2017. Examining community resilience to assist in sustainable tourism development planning in Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, Vietnam. Tourism Planning and Development 15(4): 436-457. 

Das, P. 2016. Uncharted waters: Navigating new configurations of urban service delivery in India. Environment and Planning A 48(7): 1354-1373. 

Das, P. 2015. The urban sanitation conundrum: What can community-managed sanitation programs in India unravel? Environment & Urbanization 27(2): 505-524.

Cover photo credit, “A makeshift toilet in an informal settlement in Indore” in Sanitation and Drainage in Cities, Environment & Urbanization 27(1), April 2015.

Das, P. 2014. Women’s participation in community-level water governance in urban India: The gap between motivation and ability. World Development 64: 206-218. 

Das, P and L. M. Takahashi. 2014. Non-participation of low-income households in community-managed water supply projects in India. International Development Planning Review 36(3): 265291. 

Das, P. 2013. “Decentralization and citizen participation in urban service delivery: Is institutionalizing enough?” In Democratic local governance: Reforms and innovations in Asia, ed. G. Shabbir Cheema. United Nations University. 

Das, P. and K. R. Tamminga. 2012. The Ganges and the GAP: An assessment of efforts to clean a sacred river. Sustainability 4: 16471668. 

Academic/Professional Work

Mālama ʻĀina Biocultural Resource Management Plan for Moku o Loʻe Islet: Proof of Concept, University of Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology.

When Hazards Collide: Everyday Adaptations to Extreme Events (funded by the Social Science Research Council)

Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor Vision Plan, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Lāna‛i Long Term Kupuna Care Facility Needs Assessment, Hale Makua Health Services.

Lāna‛i Long Term Kupuna Care Facility Conceptual Plan, Lanai Changes Community Economic Development and Nonprofit Hui.

Waipahu Transit Oriented Development Collaboration: Proof of Concept Research, Planning, and Design Study, State of Hawai‘i Office of Planning.

Hawai‘i Youth Services Directory, State of Hawai‘i Office of Youth Services.