Sarbeswar Praharaj

Assistant Research Professor and Associate Director for Data and Visualization
Knowledge Exchange for Resilience

Tempe Campus


Sarbeswar Praharaj (Ph.D.) is the Associate Director (Data & Visualization) and Assistant Research Professor at the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University (ASU). He is a Senior Global Futures Scientist at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures LaboratoryHe works closely with the PLUS Alliance Fellows across ASU, Kings College London, and UNSW Sydney, tackling global urbanization challenges with an aim to build smart, healthy, and accessible cities. Dr. Praharaj leads research on smart cities, critical urban studies, data visualization and dashboards, and resilience. He engages in research-led interactive teaching and learning pedagogies in urban planning and geographical science.

Most recognized among his works in the United States is the Economic Resilience Dashboard, which visualizes near-real-time data from different authorities to help understand how cities and counties in Arizona are tackling the economic crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. He led the development of a transformative approach to poverty measures through the Household Expenditure and Income Gap Highlighter Tool (HEIGHT). The research reveals the increasing gap between household income and living costs and identifies the neighborhoods and groups (race/ethnicity and women-headed households) most impacted by poverty for policy development. Dr. Praharaj designed the COVID-19 Mobility Analytics Platform, which tracks human mobility during the pandemic with direct data APIs from Apple, Google, and Descartes Labs. He built the Temperature Change Tracking Tool for cities in Maricopa County, visualizing 100 years of temperature data providing deep and historical insight on the urban heat phenomenon facing the desert cities.

Before joining ASU, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher and Manager of the City Analytics Lab at the City Futures Research Center, UNSW Sydney, Australia. While at UNSW, he was involved in developing Australia’s ground-breaking data-driven property valuation tool - RAISE and authored the Strathfield Smart City Roadmap for the Sydney Council. Dr. Praharaj established and coordinated the Australia-India Smart Cities Knowledge Exchange Network and was designated as a Global Tech Fellow for spearheading research collaboration with the member institutions of the Global Alliance of Technological Universities. He also facilitated Pune Smart City Living Lab’s setup through a tr-university partnership between ASU, Kings College London, and UNSW Sydney as part of the PLUS Alliance network. Sarbeswar has received competitive grant funding from the Australia-India Council and Australia-Kora Foundation and was awarded the UNSW International Postgraduate Research Scholarship for his Ph.D.


2015 - 2019 PhD in Urban Planning and Smart Cities, UNSW Sydney

2009 - 2011 Master of Urban Planning (Housing), CEPT University

2006 - 2008 Master of Science in Geography, University of Calcutta

2003 - 2006 Bachelor of Science in Geography, University of Calcutta


Research Website URL:!/

Google Scholar URL: 

Google Scholar Profile 

Journal Papers 

  • Praharaj, S., & Han, H. 2021. Human mobility impacts on the surging incidence of COVID‐19 in India. Geographical Research.
  • Leao, S.Z., van den Nouwelant, R., Shi, V., Han, H., Praharaj, S. and Pettit, C.J., 2021. A rapid analytics tool to map the effect of rezoning on property values. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems86, p.101572.
  • Praharaj, S. (2021). Area-Based Urban Renewal Approach for Smart Cities Development in India: Challenges of Inclusion and Sustainability. Urban Planning6(4), 202-215.
  • Solís, P., Dasarathy, G., Turaga, P., Drake, A., Vora, K. J., Sajja, A., ... & Lattus, R. 2021. Understanding the Spatial Patchwork of Predictive Modeling of First Wave Pandemic Decisions by US Governors. Geographical Review, 1-24.
  • Alic, D., Drummond, A., Praharaj, S., & Peacock, J. 2021. Leveraging the capabilities of sessional teachers in design education. International Journal of Design Education, 15(1), 131-143. 10.18848/2325-128X/CGP/V15I01/131-143
  • Praharaj, S., King, D., Pettit, C., and Wentz, E., 2020. Using Aggregated Mobility Data to Measure the Effect of COVID-19 Policies on Mobility Changes in Sydney, London, Phoenix, and Pune. Transport Findings, October.
  • Wang, C., Li, Z., Clay Mathews, M., Praharaj, S., Karna, B. and Solís, P., 2020. The spatial association of social vulnerability with COVID-19 prevalence in the contiguous United States. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, pp.1-8. doi: 10.1080/09603123.2020.1847258
  • Praharaj, S., Vaidya, H. (2020). The Urban Dimension of COVID-19 in India: COVID Outbreak and Lessons for Future Cities. Smartnet. National Institute of Urban Affairs. Pages 1-9.
  • Praharaj, S., Han, H. (2019). Cutting through the clutter of smart city definitions: A reading into the smart city perceptions in India. City Culture and Society. Volume 18.
  • Praharaj, S. and Han, H. (2019). Building a typology of the 100 smart cities in India. Smart and Sustainable Built Environment. Volume 8, No. 5, Pages 400-414.
  • Praharaj, S., Han, H., Hawken, S. (2018). Urban innovation through policy integration: Critical perspectives from 100 Smart Cities Mission in India. City Culture and Society, Volume 12, Pages 35-43.
  • Praharaj, S., Han, H., Hawken, S. (2018). Towards the Right Model of Smart City Governance in India. Int. J. Sus. Dev. Plann, WIT Press, UK. Volume 13, No 2, Pages 171-186. 10.2495/SDP-V13-N2-171-186
  • Praharaj, S., Han, H. and Hawken, S. (2017). Innovative civic engagement and digital urban infrastructure: Lessons from 100 Smart Cities Mission in India. Procedia Engineering, Volume 180, Pages 1423-1432. 
  • Hawken, S. and Praharaj, S. (2016). Leaders in Thought: Driving Urban Innovation. Australia and New Zealand Property Journal, vol. March Vol 5, Pages 254 – 255.
  • Acharya, S., Bandyopadhyay, S. and Praharaj, S. (2012). Carbon Intensive Urbanization, Climate Variability and Urban Vulnerabilities in Hill Areas: A Case of Gangtok Urban Region, Sikkim, Journal of International Development and Co-operation, Volume 18, Issue 4, Pages 93-112. DOI: 10.15027/33191

Book Chapters  

  • Praharaj, S. (2020). Development Challenges of the Big Data Command and Control Centres for Smart Cities in India. In: Biloria N. (eds) Data-driven Multivalence in the Built Environment (pp. 75-90). Springer, Cham.
  • Praharaj, S., Bandyopadhyay, S. (2020). Understanding the Open Data Challenge for Building Smart Cities in India. In: Hawken S., Han H., Pettit C. (eds) Open Cities Open Data: collaborative cities in the information era (pp 359-382). Palgrave Macmillan - Springer, Cham.
  • Praharaj, S., Han, H., Hawken, S. (2018). Evolving a Locally Appropriate Indicator System for Benchmarking Sustainable Smart Cities in India. In: Leal Filho W., Rogers J., Iyer-Raniga U. (eds) Sustainable Development Research in the Asia-Pacific Region (pp. 253-274). World Sustainability Series. Springer, Cham.
  • Praharaj, S. (2014). Conservation and urban renewal as a base for sustainable development in historic cities: A case of Varanasi. In: Mishra, C.G. (eds) Sustainable Constructivism: Traditional vis-à-vis Modern Architecture (pp. 167-174). Excellent Publishing House, New Delhi.
  • Praharaj, S. (under review 2020). Re-connecting Communities with Public Spaces: A Proposal for Rejuvenation of Sacred kunds in the Historic city of Varanasi, India, In: Dahiya B., Singh, R. (eds) Contemporary Cultural Geographies: Contexts, Forms and Practices. Springer, Cham.  

Conference Papers

Technical Reports

Expertise Areas

Urban Studies

Spatial Analytics and Smart Cities

Data Visualization

Complex Systems


International Education and Development