Department of Geography,University College London G21, 26 Bedford Way London
Pushpa initially trained as an architect in India (1989-94) and as an urban designer at Pratt Institute, New York (1994-96). She worked in the urban design and planning sector for several years in New York and London before enrolling for a part-time PhD in Planning (2002-2008) at the Department of Geography, London School of Economics. Between 2008 and 2011, she was a lecturer at the UCL Urban Laboratory, holding a joint position between the Department of Geography and Development Planning Unit, the Bartlett. Since 2011, she is a full-time lecturer in the Department of Geography, UCL, and a co-director of the UCL Urban Laboratory.
Combining her training in architecture and geography, she adopts an inter-disciplinary approach to understand better the multiple and complex ways in space is imagined, produced and consumed in the contemporary urban condition, primarily in the cities of the global South, with a focus on South Asian cities. Her research investigates several aspects of Indian urbanisation including aesthetic dimensions of planning, emerging forms of middle-class militancy, and the political impact of environmental disasters such as the 2004 tsunami and the 2005 floods.
She continues her dual role as both an academic and practitioner in the planning sector, combining her research knowledge with practical experience to develop innovative design and policy-based solutions to problems in urban planning. As a practicing urban designer and planner, she offers consultancy advice to both public and private sector organisations in UK and India. Her recent professional appointments in the UK include the CABE Enabling Panel, South West Regional Enabling Panel, and a design review panel member at Opun (East Midlands Development Agency) and Integreat Yorkshire (Yorkshire Forward).