Dr Yamini Narayanan



Senior Research Fellow


Faculty of Arts and Education


Alfred Deakin Institute


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Doctor of Philosophy, , 2008


+61 3 924 46808


Dr. Yamini Narayanan is an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Senior Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation. Her work explores the notion that that religion influences urban development in India, and must inform policy. India's scale and speed of urbanisation makes its sustainable urban development critical globally, yet modernist urban planning has failed to address slum growth, poverty, gender inequality and ecological crises.
More recently, her research has begun investigate to the ways in which animals – particularly those regarded as heritage or sacred icons in India, such as cattle – are invoked as symbols of human identity politics and/or as resources for growth in cities. Animals have a significant yet invisible role of in city building, and urban religion can be complicit in enabling animal exploitation for urban development. Her work now also seeks to develop frameworks for multi-species inclusive urban planning.
Her book Religion, Heritage and the Sustainable City: Hinduism and Urbanisation in Jaipur (Routledge) was published in 2015, and edited volume Religion and Urbanism: Reconceptualising Sustainable Cities in South Asia (Routledge) was published in 2016. She also publishes widely in media on issues related to animal rights, including The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, Huffington Post and Animal People Forum. She has been interviewed at the animal rights radio channel Freedom of Species, and for documentaries on vegan political philosophy and animal rights advocacy in India.

Read more on Yamini's profile

Knowledge areas

• Animals/nonhumans and urban planning
• Animals and religion/heritage
• South Asia/Indian cities
• Women and planning
• Religion and planning

Professional activities

  • Member, Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Environment, Government of India [2016-ongoing
  • Advisory board member, Visakha Society for the Care and Protection of Animals
  • Member, Human Animal Research Network [HARN], University of New South Wales
  • Board of Directors, International Sustainable Development Research Society [ISDRS] (July 2013-ongoing)
  • Member, American Association of Geographers (2015-ongoing)
  • Member, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (2014-ongoing)



  1. ARC DECRA, 2014-2017, 'Religion and Urban Development in India: Planning Sustainable Cities'
  2. Perth Convention Bureau Early Career Development Scholarship - $10,000, May 2012
  3. University of Oslo Honorarium for CERES21 research article (KOK 10,000), February 2011


My DECRA project explores the ways in which religious symbols, rituals, values and other socio-political frameworks impact different aspects of urbanism in Indian cities, and the implications therein for secular urban policy. The research has evolved to examine the use of living animal symbols - specifically cattle - in religion, and their highly significant and yet invisible role in city building. Considerations of the living sentient nonhuman is a large gap in urban development and planning studies.


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Religion, urbanism and sustainable cities in South Asia

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2016), pp. 1-23, Religion and urbanism: reconceptualising sustainable cities for South Asia, Abingdon, Eng., B1


Animals and urban informality in sacred spaces: bull-calf trafficking in Simhachalam Temple, Vishakapatnam

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2016), pp. 143-161, Religion and urbanism reconceptualising sustainable cities for South Asia, Abingdon, Eng., B1


Religion and urban policy for South Asia: where next?

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2016), pp. 201-210, Religion and urbanism reconceptualising sustainable cities for South Asia, Abingdon, Eng., B1


Hindu and Muslim women's everyday relations and agency: Gender and the Ganga-Jamni tehzib in Jaipur

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2016), Vol. 57, pp. 22-29, Women's studies international forum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1


Deep ecology and urban conservation principles for urban villages : Planning for Hauz Khas Village, Delhi City

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2016), pp. 291-307, Urban Heritage, Development and Sustainability International Frameworks, National and Local Governance, Abingdon, Eng., B1


Religion, sustainable development and policy: principles to practice

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2016), Vol. 24, pp. 149-153, Sustainable development, London, Eng., C1


Where are the animals in sustainable development? Religion and the case for ethical stewardship in animal husbandry

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2016), Vol. 24, pp. 172-180, Sustainable development, London, Eng., C1


Women's 'right to sustainable development': integrating religion and a rights-based approach

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2015), pp. 404-415, Routledge international handbook of sustainable development, Abingdon, Eng., B1


Religion, heritage and the sustainable city : Hinduism and urbanisation in Jaipur

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2015), Abingdon, Eng., A1


Quo vadis, Delhi? Urban heritage and gender: towards a sustainable urban future

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2014), Vol. 20, pp. 488-499, International journal of heritage studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1


Inspiring sustainability beyond sustainability: sustainable development and the ultimate Hindu purpose

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2013), Vol. 8, pp. 301-323, Nature and culture, Oxford, England, C1-1


Religion and sustainable development : analysing the connections

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2013), Vol. 21, pp. 131-139, Sustainable development, Oxford, England, C1-1


Religious symbolism and the politics of urban space development

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2013), pp. 326-337, Handbook of research on development and religion, Cheltenham, Engand, B1


Violence against women in Delhi: a sustainability problematic

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2012), Vol. 7, pp. 1-22, Journal of South Asian development, Thousand Oaks, California, C1-1


Sustainable consumption as a means to self-realization: a Hindu perspective on when enough is enough

Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2010), Vol. 18, pp. 252-259, Sustainable development, Chichester, England, C1-1


Deep in the desert: merging the desert and the spiritual through 4WD tourism

Dr Yamini Narayanan, Jim Macbeth

(2009), Vol. 11, pp. 369-389, Tourism geographies: an international journal of tourism space, place and environment, Abingdon, England, C1-1


Entrepreneurship and sustainable tourism: the global gypsies approach

Jim Macbeth, Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2009), pp. 239-251, Making Ecopreneurs: Developing Sustainable Entrepreneurship 2nd Ed, Surrey, England, B1-1


In a city like Delhi: urban spirituality, sustainability and women

Jeffrey Kennworthy, Dora Marinova, Dr Yamini Narayanan

(2006), Vol. 3, pp. 1-22, Portal: journal of multidisciplinary international studies, Sydney, NSW, C1-1



Australian Competitive Grants

Religion and Urban Development in India: Planning Sustainable Cities

Dr Yamini Narayanan

ARC DECRA - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

  • 2016: $121,015
  • 2015: $135,135
  • 2014: $124,253


Data will be available in 2017