Shruti Syal

Shruti Syal

Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Urban and Regional Planning Department


Shruti is an environmental planner and political ecologist studying integrated human-environment systems. Her research draws on the fields of planning, geography, and environmental science to examine the juncture between informality, institutions, and infrastructure. Her dissertation uncovers the ecological impact of stormwater drain-adjacent 'slums' in Delhi, India, revealing how institutions govern stakeholder behavior, determine access to waste-related infrastructure, and in turn influence city ecology. This work demonstrates that environmental remediation of the river Yamuna and informal settlement upgradation are interdependent goals, and encourages planners to reconceive their role as institution-builders and not just plan makers. She is currently working on multiple publications, and an ESRI Storymap to make this data publicly accessible.

Shruti has worked on urban biodiversity conservation, water quality, waste management, urban design, and regional analysis in India, Oman, Canada, and the US, and taught courses in urban ecology and sustainability. She holds a BSc in Biology from McGill University, an MSc in Environmental Studies from The Energy and Resources Institute, and a PhD in Regional Planning from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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