Prof. Ayona Datta is a Professor in the Department of Geography at University College, London. She has a background in architecture, environmental design, and planning with cross-cutting expertise in postcolonial urbanism, smart cities, urban futures, and gender citizenship in the global South. She uses interdisciplinary approaches from architecture, planning, feminist and urban geography, combining qualitative, digital/ mapping and visual research methods to examine how urban futures are imagined, governed and lived in the present.
Prof. Datta is author of The Illegal City: Space, law, and gender in a Delhi squatter settlement 2012), co-editor of Translocal Geographies: Spaces, Places, connections (2011) and Mega-Urbanization in the Global South: Fast Cities and New Urban Utopias (2016).
She is also editor of Urban Geography journal andis on the editorial boards of the journals Antipode: Digital Geography and Society and EPD: Society and Space. She is a public scholar and engages with audiences through blogs, podcasts, radio interviews, and op-eds. She is also producer/director of two films City Bypassed and City Forgotten and co-producer of a hip-hop song Khadar kiLadkiyan. She was awarded the Busk Medal from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in 2019 for her contributions to the understanding of smart cities through fieldwork.