Core Faculty

Arnab Chakraborty

Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning
PhD, University of Maryland-College Park, 2007


Arnab Chakraborty works in the area of regional planning and development, primarily at the intersection of land use and transportation systems. His expertise spans scenario analysis and land use modeling to evaluating affordable housing policies, foreclosure practices and environmental outcomes. His recent projects have been supported by the Federal Highway Administration, the Urban Institute and the National Science Foundation. The findings from the NSF-funded study established – for the first time – a connection between zoning stringency and the risk of foreclosures in a municipality and were published as the centerpiece of a forum in the journal Housing Policy Debate.

Professor Chakraborty teaches the following courses on a regular basis: Plan Making (UP 510), Regional Planning and Policy (UP 594AC/UP 547), and Communication for Planners (UP 312). Occasionally, he has offered Environmental Policy and Planning (UP 543), and study aborad courses. In the past, he has also taught Microeconomics of Public Policy and Planning, and GIS. His courses stress the importance of critical thinking and collaboration, and the need to connect techniques learnt in the class to real-world planning situations.

Since 2004, Professor Chakraborty has advised and consulted on various regional visioning processes, comprehensive planning and transport projects both in the U.S. and abroad. He has also taught internationally at professional training workshops and given invited lectures to international academic and policy audiences, most recently in India, China, Taiwan, Curacao and The Netherlands. In addition to his academic appointment, he is a co-founder of the Urban and Regional Sustainability Lab (URSULA) and a co-PI for the Land Use Evolution and Impact Assessment Laboratory (LEAM).

Prior to his PhD, Professor Chakraborty received a master's degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a bachelor in architecture from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. In the past, he has taught at the Johns Hopkins University and worked for the Chicago Transit Authority. At Illinois, Chakraborty is also associated with the Center for Global Studies, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. He is also an affiliate faculty of the National Center for Smart Growth Reserach and Education and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Contact Information
Room M230, Temple Buell Hall
611 Taft Drive, Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: +; Fax: +

Ongoing Research Projects

  • An evaluation of the influence of zoning and local regulatory environment on housing price and foreclosure risk (funded by the National Science Foundation, abstract)
  • An assessment of USHUD-EPA-DOT funded Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant program (with Urban Institute and Living Cities Foundation)
  • Researching the nexus of new formal and informal settlements in the megacities of developing countries (with Prof. Bev Wilson, recipeint of FAA Creative Research Award)
  • Testing policy choices using a mega-regional model and development scenarios for Mid-Atlantic States. FHWY Exploratory Advanced Research Program 4B – Mega-regional Travel (with University of Maryland, LEAM Lab at UIUC, ECONorthwest and others)

Links to selected ongoing projects: md-LEAM, Mid-Atlantic Megaregions Project, and Maryland Scenario Project

Selected Publications

Chakraborty, A., Allred, D. and Boyer, R., “Zoning Restrictiveness and Housing Foreclosures: Exploring a New Link to the Subprime Mortgage Crisis” Housing Policy Debate (2013) 23:2 431-457

Wilson, B., and Chakraborty, A., “The environmental impacts of sprawl: emergent themes from the past decade of planning research” Sustainability (2013), 5, 1-x manuscripts; doi:10.3390/su50x000x

Mishra, S., Welch, T., and Chakraborty, A., “An experiment in megaregional road pricing using advanced commuter behavior analysis,” Journal of Urban Planning and Development, (2013) doi:10.1061/(ASCE)UP.1943-5444.0000175

Kim J. H., Deal, B. and Chakraborty, A., “Parsing Density Changes: A framework for outcome-oriented growth management policy analysis,” Journal of Housing and the Built Environment September (2013) 28:3, pp 529-546

Chakraborty, A., and Mishra, S., “Land Use and Transit Ridership Connections: Implications for State-level Planning Agencies,” Land Use Policy (2013) 30 458-469.

Chakraborty, A., Mishra, S., and Kim, Y.W., “Planning support systems and planning across scales: Comparing scenarios using multiple regional delineations and projections,” URISA Journal: Special Issue on Bridging the Gap Between Modeling and Planning Practice (2012) 24:1 49-58

Chakraborty, A., “Recognizing uncertainty and linked decisions in public participation: A new framework for collaborative urban planning,” Systems Research and Behavioral Science: Special issue on Collaborative Problem Solving amid Conflicts (2012) 29:2 131–148

Chakraborty, A., Kaza, N., Knaap, G. J. and Deal, B., "Robust Plans and Contingent Plans: The promise of scenario planning," Journal of the American Planning Association (2011) 77:3 251-266

Chakraborty, A., "Enhancing the Role of Participatory Scenario Planning Processes: Lessons from Reality Check Exercises," Futures (2011) 43:4 387-399

Chakraborty, A., "Scenario Planning for Effective Regional Governance: Promises and Limitations," State and Local Government Review (2010) 42:1 156-167

Deal, B., and Chakraborty, A., "Cyber-Physical Planning Support Systems: Advancing participatory decision-making in complex urban environments," International Journal of Operations and Quantitative Management (2010) 16:3 353-367

Chakraborty, A., Knaap, G. J., Nguyen, D., and Shin, J. H., "The Effects of High Density Zoning on Multifamily Housing Construction in the Suburbs of Six U.S. Metropolitan Areas", Urban Studies (2010) 47:2 437-451

Deal, B., Kim J. H. and Chakraborty, A., "Growth Management and Sustainable Transport: Do growth management policies promote transit use?" Journal of Public Transportation (2009) 12:4 21-40

Bento, A., Lowe, S., Knaap, G. J., and Chakraborty, A., “Housing Market Impacts of Inclusionary Zoning”, Cityscape (2009) 11:2 7-26 [A version of this article was later included in a book, The Affordable Housing Reader, edited by J. Rosie Tighe and Elizabeth Mueller and published by Routledge in October 2012]

Knaap, G. J., Chakraborty, A., "Comprehensive Planning for Sustainable Rural Development", Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Special Issue on Rural Development Policy, Edward Feser and Andrew Isserman (eds.), (2007) 37:1 18.20

Shiffer, M., Chakraborty, A., McNeil, S., Srinivasan, S., Donahue, B., Garfield, G., "A Spatial Multimedia Representation of the Chicago Transit Authority's Rail Infrastructure", Transportation Research Record 1838, (2003) Paper# 03-2582: pp 1-10


Arnab Chakraborty