Venkata Aekbote Lakshmi CV -

Venkata Narayanan Aekbote Lakshminarayanan

Venkat is pursuing his Doctoral Degree from the PACTE research laboratory at the University of Grenoble, France, in cooperation with the URBANgrad program at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Architecture from Anna University in Chennai, India; a Master's Degree in Urban and Rural Planning from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India and an Advanced Master’s Degree in International Cooperation and Urban Development from TU Darmstadt and UPMF Grenoble. He has five years of work experience: as Architect and Urban Planner on various projects, both in public and private sectors in India; as an Assistant Professor of Planning in a Central University in India and as a volunteer in a social project in Germany. In the wake of frequent disasters in various countries, attributed to the climate change phenomenon, his research interest is on building resilience and he has been working on this topic over the past few years, continuing it in his doctoral research.

PhD Project

“Opportunities and challenges for building a resilient future in a rapidly urbanising African city – The case of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania”

The project seeks to understand the concept of resilience in the context of a rapidly urbanising city in sub-Saharan Africa, for which Dar es Salaam in Tanzania has been selected. Dar es Salaam is a coastal city frequented by floods, which are further worsened by sea-level increase due to the climate change phenomenon. Out of the population of 4 million, 80% are living in 43 unplanned settlements in three districts – Ilala, Temeke and Kinondoni, and are most vulnerable to future floods. Considering the future scenario, building resilience in Dar es Salaam is a necessary endeavour. In terms of research objectives, besides understanding the concept of resilience in the context of Dar es Salaam, the study also seeks to understand the various factors involved in building resilience in the city, and examines the various stakeholders in the process and their roles in building a resilient future. The opportunities and challenges for building resilience are also sought to be understood such that proposals and recommendations can be made. A mixed method approach (both qualitative and quantitative analysis) has been proposed for the project as it is appropriate, considering that it brings a holistic understanding of complex issues dealt with as part of this project. The project seeks to be a torchbearer for indicating the possibilities of building resilient futures for rapidly urbanising cities in an African context.

University Studies and Degrees

Since 10/2014 Doctoral candidate(Politiques Publiques, Action Politique, Territoires Research Laboratory, University of Grenoble in Grenoble, France and Fachbereich Architektur, Technische Universität Darmstadt in Darmstadt, Germany)
10/2011-09/2013 Erasmus Mundus Advanced Master Degree in International Cooperation and Urban Development (Technische Universität Darmstadt in Darmstadt, Germany and Université Pierre Mendès-France in Grenoble, France)
07/2005-07/2007 Master of Urban and Rural Planning(Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee in Roorkee, India)
07/2000-06/2005 Bachelor of Architecture (School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University in Chennai, India)

Professional Experiences

12/2013- 10/2014 Volunteer in the social project HerzZeichen in Darmstadt, Germany
02/2013-07/2013 Research Intern, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) – World Secretariat, Barcelona, Spain
07/2012-09/2012 Research Intern, Geoffrey Payne and Associates, London, United Kingdom
09/2010-08/2011 Assistant Professor of Planning, School of Planning and Architecture: Vijayawada, Vijayawada, India
03/2010-09/2010 Project Associate, School of Planning and Architecture: Delhi, New Delhi, India
04/2009-12/2009 Junior Architect-Planner, Jurong Consultants Private Limited, New Delhi, India
03/2008-03/2009 Assistant Architect-Planner, STUP Consultants Private Limited, New Delhi, India
08/2007-02/2008 Assistant Manager – Architect, Moolchand Medcity, New Delhi, India
05/2006-07/2006 Urban Planner-Trainee, Consulting Engineering Services Private Limited, New Delhi, India

Scholarships and Awards

10/2014-09/2017 Doctoral contract with International Mobility Scholarship to pursue Doctoral Degree at University of Grenoble in cooperation with Technische Universität Darmstadt | Funded by the Université Pierre Mendès-France
10/2011-09/2013 Erasmus Mundus Scholarship to pursue Advanced Master Degree in International Cooperation and Urban Development at Technische Universität Darmstadt and Université Pierre Mendès-France | Funded by the European Union
07/2005-07/2007 Merit Scholarship for securing All India Rank – 55 in Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering to pursue Master Degree in Urban and Rural Planning at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee | Funded by the Government of India


  • Venkata Narayanan, A.L. (2013). ‘No more floods’: A study on the perception of resilience to floods in Lleida, an intermediary city in Catalonia, Spain. Advanced Master’s Thesis submitted to Université Pierre Mendès-France in Grenoble, France.
  • Devadas, V., Saharan, T. and Venkata Narayanan, A. L. (2010). Slum as an integral part of urban system – a case study of Kolkata City, India. Paper published in the 58th National Town and Country Planners’ Congress – “Inclusive Planning for Empowering Urban Poor”, held at Nagpur, organised by the Institute of Town Planners, India in January 2010, pages 1-13.
  • Venkata Narayanan, A.L. (2007). Planning for Sustainable Tourism Development in Agra City, India. Master’s Thesis submitted to the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, India.
  • Venkata Narayanan, A.L. (2007). Sustainable Architecture. Paper presented at the National conference “Cognizance 07” at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, India.
  • Venkata Narayanan, A.L. (2006). Vertical Urbanism. Paper presented at the National conference “Cognizance 06” at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, India.
  • Venkata Narayanan, A.L. (2005). Geo Space Design of Crafts Village at Jodhpur, India. Bachelor’s Thesis submitted to Anna University, Chennai, India.

Talks and Conferences

  • International Workshop “Community Mapping for Flood Resilience” | 26-27 March 2015 | Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Interdisciplinary PhD Training Workshop “Is small sustainable? Decentralizing Infrastructures and Utility Systems in East Africa” | 09-14 March 2015 | Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • UNECE and University of Geneva Workshop “Building resilient communities – Integrating hazard and risk data into policymaking for inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements” | 13 January 2015 | Geneva, Switzerland
  • Lleida International Forum “Intermediary Cities – Policies and Strategic Urban Planning” | 28-29 June 2013 | Lleida, Spain
  • UNISDR Urban Planning Working Group Conference “Making Cities Resilient” | 02 April 2013 | Barcelona, Spain
  • Mundus Urbano Consortium International Workshop “Ciutat Meridiana” | 13-19 December 2012 | Barcelona, Spain
  • United Nations UNECE Sustainable Urban Development Seminar “Building the Cities We Want” | 27 November 2012 | Geneva, Switzerland
  • United Nations UN-Habitat and Siemens International Conference “Urban Planning for City Leaders” | 20 September 2012 | London, United Kingdom
  • United Nations UN-Habitat, World Urban Forum 6 “The Urban Future” | 01-07 September 2012 | Naples, Italy
  • Mundus Urbano Research Colloquium “Comprehensive approach to planning in India” | 21 June 2012 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • International Workshop “Sustaining the Metropolis – Contemporary development for diverse public spaces in the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region ” | 16-23 May 2012 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • Town and Country Planning Organisation, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India “Alternative approaches to Master Plans” | 26 August 2010 | Chandigarh, India


  • International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism
  • Council of Architecture, India
  • Institute of Town Planners India
  • Indian Institute of Architects
  • Regional Science Association, India
  • Indian Society for Technical Education
  • Systems Society of India