Dr Yamini Narayanan



Senior Lecturer


Faculty of Arts and Education


SHSS Arts & Ed


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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Street dogs at the intersection of colonialism and informality: 'subaltern animism' as a posthuman critique of Indian cities

Y Narayanan

(2017), Vol. 35, pp. 475-494, Environment and planning D: society & space, London, Eng., C1


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

Y Narayanan

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


Religion, urbanism and sustainable cities in South Asia

Y Narayanan

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


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

Y Narayanan

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


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

Y 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?

Y Narayanan

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


Religion, sustainable development and policy: principles to practice

Y 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

Y Narayanan

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


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

Y Narayanan

(2015), Abingdon, Eng., A1


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

Y Narayanan

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


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

Y Narayanan

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


Religion and sustainable development : analysing the connections

Y Narayanan

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


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

Y Narayanan

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


Religious symbolism and the politics of urban space development

Y Narayanan

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


Violence against women in Delhi: a sustainability problematic

Y 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

Y 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

Y Narayanan, J 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

J Macbeth, Y Narayanan

(2009), pp. 239-251, Making ecopreneurs: developing sustainable entrepreneurship, Surrey, England, B1-1


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

J Kenworthy, D Marinova, Y Narayanan

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


Funded Projects at Deakin

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

Animals and urban planning: Indian cities as Zoopolises

Dr Yamini Narayanan, Prof Jennifer Wolch, Dr Maan Barua

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2018: $23,077


No completed student supervisions to report