The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Vidya Pancholi

Vidya Pancholi

Research summary and biography

Prior to my joining the DPU in September 2017, I have worked for more than six years in research as well as practice. While my research work focused on decentralisation and inclusive development within the cities of the global south, my practice spanned across business consultancy, government advisory, and working with a Delhi based Non-Government Organisation in the field of school education. I have studied Architecture, Urban Planning, and International development during undergraduate and my two post-graduate studies. I am currently pursuing research doctorate at the University of Sheffield and aiming to submit my thesis before the end of the current academic year (2017-2018).  My PhD research focuses on the implementation of state sponsored slum redevelopment scheme in the periphery of Mumbai. My research has two key objectives. First is to contribute to the existing literature on the interplay between space, place, power and identity from the perspective of cities of the global south. Production of urban space, politics associated with a place, and formation of identity are the key themes that are explored from the perspective of urban (spatial) periphery. The second is to critically engage with the slum housing policies of the state which fail to consider the spatial scale of community in their planning and implementation. The research aims to bring out how a standard prototype model of housing the urban poor affects different identity groups in different ways and contributes to their further marginalisation.   

During my studies, I have received several scholarships including the prestigious Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship for pursuing PhD in Urban Studies at the University of Sheffield as well as GATE fellowship awarded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India for pursuing post-graduate studies in urban planning. I have also received conference funding for presenting my research findings at British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) conference held in April 2017, Development Studies Association (DSA) conference held in September 2017, and RC21 conference held in September 2017.

Teaching summary

I teach ‘Contemporary Approaches to Development Management’ (BENVGDAB) which is a core module for the MSc Development Administration and Planning programme.


Pancholi, V. S., (2014). Measuring decentralisation in reforms era: a case of Kalyan-Dombivali, Current Urban Studies, Vol.2 No.2, June 2014. Available at: http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=47511#.U7tvpP...

Baud, I., Pfeffer, K., Dijk, T. van, Mishra, N., Richter, C., Bon, B., N., S., Pancholi, V.S., Saharan, T., 2013. The Development of Kalyan Dombivli; Fringe City in a Metropolitan Region (City Report No. 2), City Growth and the Sustainability Challenge Comparing Fast Growing Cities in Growing Economies. Chance2sustain project, Bonn, Germany.