• Aseem Inam

    Associate Professor of Urbanism

    Part-time Lecturer

    Office Location:

    Albert and Vera List Academic Center


    Aseem Inam is Director of TRULAB:  Laboratory for Designing Urban Transformation, Associate Professor of Urbanism at Parsons The New School for Design, and Fellow at the Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT. He is the author of the book, Designing Urban Transformation, which proposes a fundament shift in conceptualizing and practicing city-design-and-building processes and outcomes.  His previous book is entitlted, Planning for the Unplanned: Recovering from Crises in Megacities, and is a comparative analysis of city rebuilding in Los Angeles, Mexico City and New York.  His paper, Meaningful Urban Design, received a national award from the SOM Foundation and was published in the Journal of Urban Design.  His scholarly work has also been published in the journals Cities, and Planning Practice and Research, and received awards from the California Planning Foundation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Dr. Inam previously taught at MIT, where he received the Excellence in Teaching Award, UCLA, and the University of Michigan, where he received the Outstanding Faculty Award three times.  He was the founding architect-in-charge of the Aga Khan Development Network's rural habitat development program in Gujarat, India.  Most recently he was a project leader for urban design and planning projects in California, the Caribbean, Idaho, and New Mexico with the award-winning firm, Moule and Polyzoides Architects and Urbanists.  Dr. Inam received a master's degree in architecture from the former Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, a master's degree in urban design from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Ph.D. in city planning from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

    Recent Publications:


    Peer-Reviewed Books:

    Designing Urban Transformation.  Routledge:  New York and London, November 2013.

    Planning for the Unplanned:  Recovering from Crises in Megacities.  Routledge:  New York and London, March 2005.

    Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

    “From Dichotomy to Dialectic:  Practicing Theory in Urban Design,” Journal of Urban Design, volume 16, issue 2, 2011, pages 257-278.

    “Navigating Ambiguity:  Comedy Improvisation as a Tool for Urban Design Pedagogy and Practice,” Journal of Education in the Built Environment, volume 5, issue 1, 2010.

    Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters:

    “Tensions Manifested:  Reading the Viceroy’s House in New Delhi” and “Epilogue,” in The Emerging Asian City:  Concomitant Urbanities and Urbanisms, edited by Vinayak Bharne:  Routledge:  London and New York:  2012.

    “Smart Growth:  A Critical Analysis of the State of the Art,” in Urban Design: Roots, Influences, and Trends, edited by Tridib Banerjee and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris.  Routledge:  London and New York, 2011.

    Professional Practice-Oriented Publications:

    “Designing the Potential of NGOs,”  Invited Op-Ed, Domus India magazine, February 2013.

    From Intentions to Consequences: San Diego TOD Design Guidelines and Rio Vista West Project, report, research funded and published by the American Planning Association, 2012.

    Research Interests:

    Design research, international urbanism, spatial environments, urban design, urban studies, urban theory, urban transformation, urbanism.

    Awards and Honors:

    International Conference:  "The Entrepreneurial City:  To Know and To Transform," SEBRAE Belo Horizonte, 2014

         Keynote Speaker:  "Transforming Cities / Transforming Urbanism"

    International Conference:  “Cities in Transformation:  Research and Design,” Politecnico di Milano, 2012

          Keynote Speaker:  “Urban Transformation:  How Do We Know”

    Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 2009 - present

          Inaugural Fellow

    Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 2009

          Excellence in Teaching Award