Neema Kudva

Neema Kudva's research focuses on international urbanization, particularly issues related to small cities and their regions, and on institutional structures for equitable planning and development at the local level. She has explored various aspects of the role of public agencies and nongovernmental organizations in planning and development, primarily in South Asia but also in the U.S.

Kudva directs the International Studies in Planning program and is the faculty lead for the Nilgiris Field Learning Center, a collaborative program of Cornell University and the Keystone Foundation, India. At Cornell, she is affiliated with the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, the South Asia Studies Program at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, the Visual Studies Program, and is a faculty fellow at Carl Becker House. Prior to joining CRP in 2001, she worked as a planning consultant to public agencies in San Francisco and as an architect in India and Europe.

Kudva received her Dip.Arch. from the school of architecture at Ahmedabad, India, in 1989 and her M.Arch./M.C.P. and Ph.D. from the University of California–Berkeley in 2001.

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Classes (Selected)

  • CRP 3201/6201 Qualitative MethodsQualitative research has developed as a field of inquiry and a method that cuts across disciplines and subjects. It contains many methodological tensions and privileges no single set of practices over another. Designed for students of the built and natural environments, this class will explore methods that help us understand space and place, its use and meaning for people over time, and in the current context. This course is designed around field work in selected sites on the Cornell campus or in surrounding areas. Students learn to use a range of methods appropriately. These include archival research, observation, behavior mapping, ethnography, interviewing, surveying, and visual methods in the context of researcher-driven and participatory research modes. 
  • CRP 3850 Nilgiris Preparatory Seminar (fall);Planning and Sustainability in the Nilgiris This course addresses pertinent issues relative to the subject of planning. Topics vary each semester. (spring)
  • CRP 5130 Introduction to Planning Practice and HistoryIntroductory graduate seminar on the theory and history of planning, administration, and related public intervention in urban affairs. Topics are analyzed from the perspective of the political economy of the growth and development of cities. Students improve their understanding of the planning process and of the urban application of the social sciences, get practice in writing, and explore one research topic in depth.
  • CRP 6150 Current Issues and Debates on NGOsThis seminar examines a range of topics that are key to understanding nongovernmental (NGO) and private sector, nonprofit organization's actions and outcomes: their effectiveness at service provision and advocacy; their political role in constructing social capital and strengthening civil society; their relationship with the state and donor agencies; and issues related to organizational design for success. The intention is to gain a broad-based understanding of NGO actors, both as they stand today and in their development over the past four decades. The emphasis throughout will be to critically evaluate the literature, research, and accounts on NGOs as both institutional actors in the development arena and as bounded organizations at the local level: a task that is complicated by the heterogeneity of contexts and organizational types.   
  • CRP 6740 Urban Transformations in the Global SouthWe live in the age of the city. At some point early in the twenty-first century, the majority of the world's population became urban and the bulk of all growth in the future is expected to occur in the global South - a vast geographical and conceptual space where some of the world's most ancient cities continue to thrive. This graduate seminar seeks to you to a body of work on the cities of the global South, their diversity, growth and change starting in the early twentieth century. Drawing on a large interdisciplinary literature, we will consider the different ways in which scholars and researchers have sought to conceptualize and understand processes of city-building in the global South.

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Atkinson Center Faculty-in-Residence Fellow (2016)
  • Kendall S. Carpenter Memorial Advising Award (2015)
  • Community-Engaged Research in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, Undergraduate Engaged Research Funding, Engaged Cornell with Wolf, Stoltzfus, and Willford (2016-17)
  • Advancing Planning Workshops: Sharing Existing Practices, Improving Educational Outcomes and Assessment, Publishing Results, Advancement Grant, Engaged Cornell with Forester, Chusid, Minner, Schmidt, and Franz (2015)
  • Leveraging the Nilgiris Field Learning Center (NFLC) to Internationalize Cornell Education, Vice-Provost for International Affairs, Internationalization of Cornell Curriculum Grant, PI: Wolf, Co-PIs: Kudva, Stoltzfus, Willford, and Yorke (2014-2016)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • George "Mac" McCarthy (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy) and Neema Kudva (Cornell), "The Future of Cities," Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York (2016)
  • "The Future City, Critical Interventions for Equity," at Investigating Informal Urbanisms, X3 Seminars, "10 Years from Stockholm 2014 and Beyond," Future of Places forum I-III leading to Habitat III 2016, Civitas Athenaeum Laboratory, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden (2015)
  • "Public City, Private City / SMALL CITY," at "Public City, Private City, Rethinking Asian Studies," an international workshop organized by UKNA Program at IIAS, Netherlands, and Barnard/Columbia University, NYU Institute for Public Knowledge, New York City (2014)

Publications (Selected)

  • Cities of the Global South Reader, Urban Reader Series, eds. Faranak Miraftab and Neema Kudva, London and New York (Routledge, 2015)
  • "Small Cities, Big Issues: Indian Cities in the Debates on Urban Poverty and Inequality," in Cities and Inequalities in a Global and Neoliberal World, eds. Faranak Miraftab, Ken Salo, and David Wilson, London and New York (Routledge, 2015)
  • "Planning Mangalore: Garbage Collection in a Small Indian City," in Contesting the Indian City: Global Visions and the Politics of the Local, ed. Gavin Shatkin, Chichester (Wiley Blackwell, 2013)
  • "Putting People at the Center of Climate Change Adaptation Plans: A Vulnerability Approach," in Risk, Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy, coauthored with Andrew Rumbach (2011)
  • "The Everyday and the Episodic, Understanding the Spatial and Political Impacts of Informality in Two Indian Cities," Environment and Planning A (2009)