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Personal profile


Debapriya is a researcher in the field of Urban Studies, currently researching on two related strands.

Firstly, studying how infrastructure, urban governance agendas, neoliberal urban policies and grassroots politics affect informal indigenous household (creative) industries in Southern cities.

Secondly, the ethico-political and socio-spatial implications of place-based innovation strategies and knowledge-based urban regeneration models.

Her background is in architecture and urban planning. She completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), UKRI.


Debapriya is currently a Research Associate on the 'Place-based innovation strategies and entrepreneurial ecosystems' project working on understanding the role and implications of Innovation Districts in city regions and beyond. She is also working on developing a methodological toolkit for reimagining urban public realms or the 'ground zone' for future cities. 

Debapriya was previously a ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow in SEED, University of Manchester. Her research focused on the role of infrastructure in (trans)forming practices of idol-making in Kumartuli, an inner-city neighbourhood of Kolkata (India). Her research expertise is in informal practices, livelihoods, the human-infrastructure interface and sustainable urban transitions, focusing on marginalised communities in the Global South.

Before joining the University of Manchester, she was a Research Associate at Commonwealth Local Government Forum working with Cardiff University on understanding governance and livelihoods in South Asian borders.

Debapriya has completed a PhD in Architecture and Urban Studies at The University of Manchester investigating transformation of idol-crafting practices in Kolkata. She completed her master's degree in City Planning at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur in 2015 with a Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), Government of India scholarship. Debapriya completed her Bachelor in Architecture from Biju Patnaik University of Technology, India in 2012.

Debapriya worked as an architect in a practice in Kolkata for a year before pursuing a master's degree. During her master's and beyond it, she was involved in projects under 'SandHI' (an initiative sponsored by the MHRD, Government of India) which is based on the cultural heritage of India. She worked as Research Assistant at the Department of Architecture at Hongik University, South Korea, where her work was focussed on urban regeneration. 


Debapriya currently teaches Architecture and Urbanism at the Manchester School of Architecture (MSA). She has previously taught on various undergraduate and postgraduate modules in architecture including Humanities, Research methods, and postgraduate dissertations. She is a Fellow of Advance HE (FHEA). 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification



Award Date: 13 Jan 2021

Master of Planning, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

15 Jul 201331 May 2015

Bachelor of Architecture, Biju Patnaik University of Technology

Aug 2007Jul 2012

Areas of expertise

  • GN Anthropology
  • HT Communities. Classes. Races

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Futures
  • Digital Futures
  • Manchester Institute of Innovation Research


  • network resilience
  • place identity and attachment
  • Local economic development
  • urban regeneration
  • urban transformations


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