Center for Urban Planning and Policy
Center for Urban Planning and Policy

The Center for Urban Planning and Policy (CUPP) undertakes research and analysis to help improve processes and regulatory frameworks for urban land development. It further translates this research into relevant and applicable policy prescriptions towards addressing challenges such as increasing land supply, improving affordability, securing land for public purposes, and establishing clear land rights.

Land and real estate markets play an important role in shaping cities. Urban land is a critical resource to establish efficient and functional markets. Absences of well-functioning markets pose series of challenges like conflicts, speculation, and affordability gaps. The functioning of these markets is dependent upon land-related policies that manage externalities, create public goods, extract land value gains and provide equitable access to land for the poor. Thus, it is important to systematically study these policies, as well as understand their impact on land and real estate markets. At CUPP our aim is to advance practice-oriented research in urban land policy that supports economic development and sustainable and equitable urbanization.

CUPP engages with governments through advisory work and capacity building. It has developed considerable training material in the domains of urban land planning and regulations, housing, and governance, and has also carried out significant inter-state comparative studies on land pooling and readjustment mechanisms, revenue codes and built form regulations.


Avanish  Pendharkar

Avanish Pendharkar

Executive Director

Avanish is the Executive Director of CUPP. An urban planning and development professional with over 20 years of experience on a variety of project types for public and private sector clients. He has worked on large-scale master plans and infrastructure development, urban design, urban redevelopment, regional plans, policy studies, and provided subject matter expertise on large programme management mandates.

His work with marquee planning and design firms like Glatting Jackson, HOK and CH2M Hill comprises of international projects like Atlanta’s first ever Transportation Vision Plan, the New Campus additions to the King Saud University in Riyadh, TOD projects like the North Corridor Commuter Rail for City of Charlotte, NC, USA, Rockhill to Charlotte transit study, NC USA, and projects within the City of Atlanta’s Livable Cities Initiative program, amongst others.

In India since 2010, Avanish has advised the DMICDC on their plans for new industrial cities in Dholera SIR and DNGIR. He has also worked on the plan implementation of the 40 Shendra-Bidkin Industrial Township at Aurangabad in India besides policy and advisory services for various development plans and master planning for new towns and neighborhoods.

He has a Masters Degree in City & Regional Planning from Georgia Tech in Atlanta, USA, a Masters Degree with specialization in Urban Design from SPA, New Delhi, and a B.Arch from Mumbai. Avanish is Certified Planner (AICP), a member of the American Planning Association, and a registered architect in India. He is a recipient of the Charles Brown Fellowship in 2003 at Georgia Tech, and is an alumnus of the prestigious J.N.Tata Endowment fellowship from 2002.

Utkarsh  Patel

Utkarsh Patel

Operations Director

Utkarsh is currently working as an Operations Director with Center for Urban Planning and Policy (CUPP), CRDF, CEPT University and has been involved with CRDF since 2014. He is also involved in academics at CEPT University since 2008. Utkarsh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Technology with a specialization in Construction Technology and Master’s Degree in Urban Planning with a specialization in Housing from CEPT University, Ahmedabad.

Utkarsh Patel is an engineer urban planner, with more than 22 years of experience in both public and private sectors working on large scale urban planning projects in India and Afghanistan. Utkarsh’s areas of work range from development plans, master plans, town planning schemes, Development Regulations (DCRs), policy formulation for urban and rural spatial and strategic plans and research on statutory framework.

Some of the significant projects Utkarsh has led are development plans for Guwahati Metropolitan Region, Patna Metropolitan Region, Bhopal Development Authority, Vizhinjam Port Influence Zone, Varkala Municipal Corporation, Mandal Becharaji Special Investment Region, Dholera Special Investment Region, Bazarak, and Charikar Municipality Afghanistan. He has worked extensively on Town Planning Schemes for Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Bhuj Area Development Authority, Bhachau Area Development Authority, Mandal Becharaji Special Investment Region, Dholera Special Investment Region and PCPIR Special Investment Region.

Utkarsh has also been working on various policy research such as inclusionary housing zone and affordable housing delivery by markets, building flood resilience through lake interlinking, manuals for development plan, Town Planning Scheme & Local Area Plan, recommendations for improving planning regime in Gujarat, framing model land use and service level benchmarks with appropriate enforcement mechanism for urban clusters, role of Land Management in Pre and Post-Disaster planning and responsiveness such as Impacts on urban land markets, streamlining urban planning and land management in Gujarat, legal and administrative reforms for Development Regulation in Gujarat.



Making Planning Work
Making Planning Work

Launched June 2020 | 5 Episodes

Urban Planning in India
Urban Planning in India

Launched June 2020 | 15 Episodes

All Podcast from CUPP


  July 22, 2020
Impact of COVID-19 on Mobility
  July 22, 2020
Impact of COVID-19 on Mobility

The Center of Excellence in Urban Transport was part of an expert-led global research on the ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Cities and Mo...

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Contact Us

Center for Urban Planning and Policy

Near AES Boys Hostel Campus,
University Ground, Navrangpura,
Ahmedabad - 380 009

Phone: +91 8851420313
Fax: +91 7926302075