Susmita Rishi is a critical urban scholar with a background in architecture and urban design. To the Landscape Architecture and Regional and Community Planning faculty at Kansas State University, she brings a familiarity with planning and housing policy in North America, its overlaps with social justice issues, and she brings expertise in urbanization in the global South and international planning. In her research and teaching, she focuses on how the planned and the unplanned interact, how planning decisions are made and how planning decisions impact social justice and equity. Her current research challenges and re-conceptualizes the knowledge on which planning decisions are made, particularly those pertaining to urban informal spaces and housing.
Rishi's pedagogical philosophy, inspired by her experience as an architect and urban designer and experience as a qualitative researcher, is about equipping students with practical skills, critical analytic abilities, philosophical and theoretical depth, reflexivity, and ethics to foster just and socially sustainable cities. She emphasizes active critical inquiry and personal reflection using the local urban region as a laboratory.