Professor of Urban Analytics, Sustainability, & Policy
PhD (Cambridge University)
Research Interests: Sustainable Cities and Transport, Public Transport Accessibility, Modelling Cities, Urban Transport Infrastructure.
Professor Adhvaryu is an urban and transport planner & modeller, with over 22 years of experience spanning teaching, research, and consulting. Professor Adhvaryu completed his PhD from University of Cambridge and Churchill College, United Kingdom in 2009 and has received several laurels. Most noteworthy are three gold medals at Bachelor of Engineering in Civil in 1993, being a British Chevening Scholar at Imperial College London and University College London in 2003, and a Fulbright Nehru Visiting Professor at the University of California, LA (UCLA) in 2012.
Being an urbanist researcher, his domains are sustainable cities and transport. His research, which entails building mathematical models of land use and transport interaction and tools for public transport accessibility measurement and mapping, is focused on enhancing the plan-making process and public policy. His research has been widely published in several international, peer-reviewed publications (more details at www.bhargavadhvaryu.net) and is a frequent reviewer for several international journals and book publishers. Over the years, he has taught topics related to urban and transport planning, urban transport infrastructure design, and research methods to UG, PG, and PhD students. He has guided several UG and PG dissertations and successfully guide two PhD students and one is near completion.
His past full-time jobs have been a Lecturer, Regional Engineering College (REC), Surat (now SVNIT); Lecturer, Sarvajanik College of Engineering and Technology, Surat in the year 1997 Reader, Adani Institute of Infrastructure Management, Ahmedabad in 2010; Research Associate, Cambridge University in 2004; and Project Manager, Environmental Planning Collaborative in 1997, Ahmedabad, a not-for-profit urban planning and development management consulting firm, wherein he was project manager for Sabarmati (Ahmedabad) and Musi (Hyderabad) riverfront projects, development plans for various cities, and several road design projects. In his previous job, he was Professor, CEPT University since 2011, where he taught at the Faculty of Technology and Faculty of Planning course related to urban planning, urban transport infrastructure design, and research methods. In addition, he has been Head, MTech. Infrastructure Engineering Management program; Chair, Progress Review Committee for Old Doctoral Program; Head, Doctoral Program, and Head, Academic Staff Office.
[a] Modelling cities and sustainability
More abuot the applications of public transport accessibility levels (PTAL) ti planning policy is available on the talk on "Public transport accessibility and planning policy: an Indian perspective" presented at the Modelling the new urban world: AUM2020 online global workshop hosted by Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, University of Cambridge, 28-Jan-2021 is available here.
[c] Investigating the relationship between energy use and urban environment and activity at both urban block and city levels
[d] Urban design aspects of city form and street patterns
2. Urban transport infrastructure - planning and design
[a] Exploring alternative designs of road sections for a variety of urban uses
[b] Exploring feasibility of bus-priority public transport systems in developing countries
[c] Planning and design of multi-modal transport hubs (for more see this article on MIEM students' studio work)
[d] Accident analysis (for more see this article)
[e] Design of accessible public transport infrastructure and developing criteria and methodology for evaluating transport infrastructure designs (Adhvaryu, 2006).
3. Advocacy for safe traffic
Reviewer for international journals and book publisher
Traffic accidents analysis in Ahmedabad, Times of India, Ahmedabad, 9-Jun-2019
Live TV discussion (in Gujarati) on Ahmedabad metro and other related topics Doordarshan Girnar TV channel, 6-Mar-2019, 8:00 - 8:30 pm, Ep-29: Aapna Mudda Aapni Vaat
Public transport faces connectivity challenge Times of India, Ahmedabad, 3-Mar-2019
Public transport going nowhere, new map may show the way Times of India, Ahmedabad, 21-Jul-2016
Relocation costs riverfront families dear Ahmedabad Mirror, 20-May-2015
AMTS-BRTS passengers pay more than 4 times the fare (in Gujarati) Gujarat Samachar Plus, Ahmedabad, 11-Jun-2014
CEPT University student wins best paper award Times of India, Ahmedabad, 4-Apr-2014
CEPT students propose multi-modal transport hubs for Ahmedabad Ahmedabad Mirror, 20-Dec-2012
Urban modelling for enhancing master plan making: SIMplified PLANning modelling suite for Ahmedabad
An urban planning policy usually has two key components: the urban form and the transport system. There can be a variety of theoretical possibilities of these two components and also how they can be combined. Some typical urban forms and transport policies and their combinations are shown schematically in the figure below.
Policy-makers are usually faced with the decision of what planning policy to pursue in order to achieve the best possible future! Using models that simulate urban dynamics, it is possible to test and assess alternative planning policies, thereby making the decision process more objective and transparent. Examples are the full-fledged and complex land use—transport interaction models, which have been successfully applied in many cities of the developed world, demonstrating its effective use in assessing alternative planning and transport policies before finalising their master plan. However, in the developing world, building such complex models is challenging due to lack of data availability and resource constraints. Addressing such constraints, a SIMplified PLANning modelling suite called SIMPLAN has been developed for the case study city of Ahmedabad, India. SIMPLAN is built using available census and some basic employment related sample survey data, and contains four sub-modules for spatial trend analysis, residential location, modal split, and alternative policy assessment framework. SIMPLAN development is an attempt to build simplified yet robust analytical tools in the context of developing countries.
The four SIMPLAN modules are:
The main land use inputs to SIMPLAN are employment and dwelling floorspace by zones and transports inputs are average network distances and speed by mode. For Ahmedabad, three alternative policies for 2021 were tested: trend policy (business as usual), compaction policy and dispersal policy, with appropriate combinations of land use and transport inputs.
The main advantages of using this type of approach are:
The polices tested for case study city of Ahmedabad for year 2021 include:  compact city with high quality public transport  dispersed development with significant road capacity enhancement, and  trend policy, denoting a business as usual scenario in terms of supply of residential floorspace, development control regulations (DCRs), and public transport development (which acts as a reference policy to compare the policies developed by 'design'). Sensitivity analysis is also done to see the effects of change in distribution of jobs.
The critical review of the Ahmedabad Development Plan making approach (as in the Ahmedabad Development Plan for 2011) is discussed in Adhvaryu (2011a), establishing a need for model-based plan-making approach.
Key SIMPLAN outputs (for Ahmedabad) indicate that dispersing cities proves to be economically bene?cial to society as a whole, because households would tend to gain from the lower rents further afield. Compaction policy performs better in terms of environmental aspects such as consumption of new land for development and vehicular emissions, but bearing in mind traffic congestion is currently not modelled, which could potentially reduce this advantage. With regard to social aspects, it appears that any deviation from the trend creates a lopsided social mix, although compaction policy is a bit better than dispersal.
As mentioned above, SIMPLAN is developed in a spreadsheet environment, with all key operations controlled by a visual interface using sub-routines written in Visual Basic Application code. This creates a user-friendly graphical interface that makes the model simple to understand and operate by local planning agencies, and, in addition, provides them with the flexibility of updating the model as and when new data is available or a new round of census is conducted.
India is rapidly urbanising and is at a crucial juncture in its development. The urbanisation phenomenon has both positive and negative effects. It could be argued that appropriate urban development policies and planning methodology can use the potential positives to foster better equity of benefits from the booming overall growth. On the other hand, if India does not capitalise on the potential advantages appropriately, then in the next few decades the negatives of urbanisation could amplify, worsening city living and become a stumbling block in its economic growth story. It is believed that using a methodological planning framework such as SIMPLAN, cities in the developing world can prepare their own tailor-made policy that best satis?es their objectives, making the planning efforts count for improving the quality of life in cities.
A succinct overview of the SIMPLAN simulation modelling framework is discussed in Adhvaryu (2012).