Urban Planning Thesis/ Research Topic Suggestions (Part 1)


In the field of Planning, each student is required to undertake a research project (thesis) as per his/ her interest subjects relevant to the field in the final semester. It basically gives an opportunity to the students to put their learning of previous semesters together. It also gives an opportunity to synthesize the knowledge and skills acquired by applying it for strategy formulation for a live planning challenge.

Each student is allocated individual thesis supervisor or a guide along with a co-guide who guide the students through this thesis semester. During this period, the thesis is monitored continuously and periodically through internal marked reviews to check the consistency of the work. The final output is in the form of submission of a detailed report along with drawing/ visuals presented on sheets which is presented to an external jury panel consisting of experts from the relevant field.

Urban Planning

Urban Planning is a technical and political process concerned with development of open land or greenfield sites as well as revitalization of existing parts of the city. Primary concern of urban planning is public welfare.

  • Impact of government policies and initiatives (most recent) on urban land use
  • Quality of life assessment in residential areas
  • Role of urban local bodies (ULBs) in urban governance
  • Socio-economic impact assessment of metro rail
  • Evolving a mechanism for public participation in urban planning and implementation
  • Impact of urbanization on land use in the rural-urban fringe
  • Implications of airport expansion on the surrounding areas
  • Role of International aid in urban poverty alleviation
  • Planning implications of highway corridor on settlement pattern
  • Impact of urban expansion on small towns
  • Assessing linkage between the parent city and satellite town
  • Changes in building bye-laws and its implications on urban development
  • Planning for sustainable neighbourhood
  • Assessing the liveability in the residential areas of IT parks
  • Impact of urban sprawl on provision of public services


GIS in urban planning enables spatial analysis, modelling and data visualization which can contribute to a variety of important urban planning tasks. These tasks include land suitability analysis, site selection, land use and transport modelling, impact assessments etc.

  • GIS modelling of Land Information System
  • Urban Growth Modelling in GIS
  • Urban Sprawl Pattern analysis using GIS
  • Role of GIS in revenue improvement
  • Municipal Information System using GIS in Property Tax Management
  • Application of GIS for property tax
  • Geo-Spatial Information System Based Model for Micro-Level Planning
  • Integration of land records to GIS, a model for municipal application
  • Application of GIS Technology in Watershed management
  • Use of the Geo-Informatics in land suitability analysis for Industrial Development
  • Integrated public transportation systems using GIS


Cities and tourist movement have both historical and dynamic relationship. Urban places often act as major attractions and serve as gateways to or staging areas for tourism. Tourism is at the heart of many cities’ development projects. Tourism is a major driving force in the development and stimulator of a new urbanity in metropolises and cities.

  • Tourism Potentiality of pilgrim centres
  • Impact of tourism on district development
  • Eco-Tourism development strategies for Coastal Town
  • Impact of Ecotourism on Local Community
  • Impact of tourism on the development of Local Areas
  • Planning for tourism circuit
  • Potential of Urban Wetlands for Ecotourism Development
  • Impact of Religious Tourism in Regional Development
  • Tourism Development Plan for Inter State Border Conflict areas
  • Spatiotemporal movement patterns of international tourists
  • Water tourism: An Exploration of the Role of Inland Water Transport in Tourism Development
  • Potential of Community based Ecotourism
  • Strategies for Heritage Tourism Development
  • Strategies for Ecotourism Development
  • Impact of Tourism on Rural Livelihood

Urban Finance

Cities are growing at a remarkable rate and will continue to expand more. Planning urbanization in advance in conjunction with urban finance for implementation will help cities avoid unplanned and informal growth. When investment in cities is guided by good planning principles, it unlocks the potential for growth making sustainable development attainable.

  • Municipal Bonds – An alternate source of Funding Infrastructure Projects
  • Evaluation Study of Methods for Property Tax Assessment
  • Revenue mobilization for urban local bodies through Asset Management
  • Evaluation of Economic value and funding mechanisms of Parks
  • Financial Appraisal of property development and advertisement of Metro rail
  • Sustainable Financial strategy for implementation of the General Town Planning Scheme
  • Assessment of Property Tax Management System
  • Using Public Land as a tool to generate Municipal Finance
  • Infrastructure Financing through Tax increment Financing

Environment Planning

Environmental issues arise and exist in almost all sectors where development is involved. Environmental Planning helps in making decisions about the natural environment, public health and the built environment.

  • Environmental issues in the transformation of urban fringe
  • Environmental implications of Solid waste management in hilly areas
  • Conflict of drivers of ecosystem change on wetlands
  • Impact of urban flood vulnerability on the mobility of the urban poor
  • Adaptation of neighbourhood planning for climate change
  • Potential for green and blue infrastructure towards climate responsive planning
  • Planning for a low carbon neighbourhood
  • Community based disaster management
  • Vulnerability and risk assessment of settlements prone to tropical cyclone
  • Impact of spatial expansion of city over urban green spaces
  • Estimating the economic cost of environmental degradation of an industrial area
  • Impact of sea level rise on development in metropolitan regions


Since the Industrial Revolution, cities and industries have evolved together. There exist various industrial towns which have grown around factories and expanding industries.

  • Impact of industries on a fringe town
  • Role of Agro-based industries in regional development
  • Impact of industrialization on Tribal areas
  • Development implications of SEZ: An evaluation of policies and programs
  • Eco industrial Estate Planning
  • Industrialization and Unplanned development
  • Industry-led regional transformation
  • Industrial development and intra-regional disparities
  • Industrial Development induced displacement and resettlement strategies
  • Socio-economic impacts of Industrial Development
  • Impact of Industrial Development in a Backward region
  • Planning interventions to address industrial disparity
  • Impact of Micro, small and medium scale enterprises on regional development
  • Potential of resource-based industry in the regional economic development
  • Development constraints of an Industrial cluster in a city

Informal Sector

Cities with rapid urbanization usually face a problem with the informal sector. Businesses that the informal sector comprises of generally operate on the streets and public places and are often seen as eye-sores. So, conflicts arise between urban authorities who try to keep their cities clean and the urban informal sector operators who need space for their activities.

  • Planning for Spatial integration of the street vendor activities around the temple area
  • Informal sector and its implications in the structure of the city and economy
  • Creating Public spaces through Placemaking by street vending as a tool
  • Evaluation of the national policy on urban street vendors
  • Assessment of participatory approaches for Planning of Hawker’s Space
  • Assessing impact of pedestrians on the livelihood of Street Vendors
  • Integrating working and living space of street vendors

Slum/ Informal settlements

Existence of informal settlements in the urban areas is a challenging issue in urban planning. It is short-sighted and unsustainable to ignore the challenge of slums considering the large scale of slums and the number of people they house.

  • Security and slum vulnerability towards eviction
  • Transfer of Development rights as a tool for Rehabilitation of slums
  • Prioritization model for slum performance assessment
  • Tackling large agglomerations of slum areas
  • Imageability assessment of slums
  • Evaluation of weaker sections housing programs in urban areas
  • An evaluation of the Slum Improvement Project
  • Re-Development strategies for slums
  • Forward and Backward linkages of Migrants
  • Composite Vulnerability assessment of slums
  • The vulnerability of slums to livelihood security
  • Impact of residential relocation on livelihood of slum dwellers
  • Formulation of Methodology for delisting of slums
  • Street led approach for development of slums
  • Impact of perceived tenure security on slum consolidation

Housing and Real Estate

Housing is considered to be a basic human requirement of any civilized society. In order to ensure planned development of urban areas and create an enabling environment, it is important to provide affordable housing.

  • Foreign Direct Investment in real estates of suburban
  • Role of private builders in housing
  • An exploratory study of residential satisfaction and acceptance levels in public housing schemes
  • Influence of development policies on real estate market in metro areas
  • Housing preferences of IT industries: Affordability and Proximity
  • Global financial crisis and its impact on the housing sector
  • Critical evaluation of affordable housing and assessment of public and private sector agencies
  • Role of real estate agencies in urban housing development
  • Role of NGOs in urban Housing for the poor
  • Self-built housing for urban poor
  • Impact of multinational companies on real estate
  • Assessment of real estate regulatory bill for housing design
  • Role of community in financing housing infrastructure in informal settlement
  • The changing pattern of real estate in periphery areas

Inclusive Planning

Inclusive planning implies involving a fair representation of citizens providing meaningful and educated input where planners advocate for greater equity in public policies that address multiple objectives of urban planning.

  • Evaluation of pedestrian accessibility measures in neighbourhoods for the elderly
  • Inclusive neighbourhood for children
  • Planning and designing accessible public spaces for differently abled
  • Appropriateness of functionality of public spaces for the elderly
  • Integrating child-friendly cities concept into urban planning

Transport Planning

Transport Planning is required for the operation, provision and management of facilities and services for the modes of transport. It is the process of preparing policies, goals and spatial planning designs to prepare for the future needs.

  • Effect of passenger information system (PIS) on public transit ridership
  • Planning for pedestrianization of the core area
  • Concept of BRT-Strategies for Indian cities
  • Impact of IT services on public transportation
  • Traffic management plan for railway station area
  • Study of major traffic bottlenecks
  • Planning for vehicular parking in city central area
  • Role of cycle rickshaw as a feeder system to MRTS
  • Job-Housing balance as a tool to tackle traffic congestion
  • Improving the road freight movement through route optimization
  • Exploring the use of tramways as a parallel mode of public transportation