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


  • PhD, 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


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., 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. 

Current Research Project

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

This study explores how communities that are typically impacted by floods during the monsoon season (June-September) in India prepared for the looming threat amidst one of the strictest Covid-19 lockdowns. Given the vulnerability of context to extreme weather events such as location in high-risk areas, pre-existing social vulnerability, and access to basic services, are there discernible differences in preparedness across communities due to the restrictions imposed by the current pandemic? How can learning about community preparedness inform equitable resilience strategies for future extreme events?