curriculum vitae

Sruthi Atmakur Javdekar

Environmental Psychology Program & Children’s Environments Research Group

The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue New York, New York, New York 10016


(2018)     Ph.D.  Environmental Psychology The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Research focus: Play opportunities for young children from middle-class families living in high-rise housing in urban India, physical affordances and social influences of play for “all” children and participatory research methodologies

2010       M.L.A.  Landscape Architecture Virginia Polytechnic & State University (Virginia Tech)

Masters thesis: Research in public spaces: Safety and human behavior

2006       B.Arch.   Architecture School of Planning and Architecture, J.N.T.U., India.

Undergraduate thesis: Cultural influence in creating dynamic public spaces.


Nov.2016 – Feb.2017:  CERG Project Director for Young Citizens Score Cards (YCSC) Blended Learning Course in Cairo, Egypt. (Funder: Plan International)

Responsibilities: Preparation, planning and facilitation of face-to-face workshop in Cairo to implement YCSC

Nov. – Dec.2016:  Project Director for Implementation of Child Friendly Places approach in Mumbai, India. (Funder: Apnalaya)

Responsibilities: Training and support to community youth and adults in implementing Child Friendly Places approach to Apnalaya’s programs related to Education and Citizenship, Health, Disabilities, Disaster Risk Reduction and Livelihood.

July – Nov.2016:  CERG Project Co-director for Young Citizens Score Cards (YCSC) Blended Learning Course via Plan Academy. (Funder: Plan International)

Responsibilities: Design of handover strategies and project planning for fully transitioning YCSC by training close to 40 programme managers across 15 countries with Dr. Bijan Kimiagar. Also, provided technical guidance in online training and implementing YCSC to Plan International’s key personnel.

Mar. – Apr.2016:  Project Director for Feasibility study of digitalization of score cards in New Delhi, India. (Funded by Plan International)

Responsibilities: Evaluation study research design and field-testing of audience response system for scoring service indicators with adolescent girls and boys, and adult community members.

Sept.2015 – Jan.2016:  CERG Project Co-director for Young Citizens Score Cards Blended Learning Course in Benin, Togo and Burkina Faso, West Africa (Funder: Plan International)

Responsibilities: Design and implementation of a blended learning course for course enrollees in Plan Country Offices (Benin, Togo and Burkina Faso) with two main components: (1) an online course covering the six modules of the CERG-Plan score cards approach or YCSC via; and (2) a five-day, face-to-face pilot workshop with girls, boys and service providers from one community in Benin with Dr. Bijan Kimiagar.

Nov.2014 – May2015:  CERG Research Associate for Safe and Inclusive Cities, Because I Am A Girl Urban Programme, Kampala, Uganda and New Delhi, India (Funded by Plan International)

Responsibilities: Co-development of Project Guidance note; Research and development of Child and Youth-friendly modules for Score cards approach and Youth-friendly Entitlements Analysis tools; Safe and inclusive cities tools; Workshop management and facilitation; and Development of Scorecards modules and tools with Dr. Pamela Wridt in Uganda and Dr. Bijan Kimiagar in New Delhi.

Jan.2013 – Aug.2014:  CERG Research Associate and South-Asia coordinator, Child Friendly Places Resource Toolkit. (Funder: Bernard Van Leer Foundation)

Responsibilities: Research, design and development of Child Friendly Places resource toolkit with Dr. Pamela Wridt.

Apr.2013 – 2016:  External evaluator for Street and Working Children, Shaishav, Bhavnagar, India

Responsibilities: Design and conduct a three year evaluation to study impact of Shaishav in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. Evaluation includes pre, post and impact studies.

July 2013:  Research consultant for Children’s Play in India, Flamingo Int., London

Apr.2010 – May2012:  CERG Research Associate for developing Children’s Participatory Assessment Toolkit for Transitional Learning Spaces in Emergency Contexts in Haiti (Funder: UNICEF)

Responsibilities: Design and pilot testing of participatory assessment tool kits for children to assess their school environments in Haiti with Dr. Pamela Wridt. Pilot test of LEGO as a participatory tool with children to design and plan their classrooms.

Feb.2011 – Apr.2011:  CERG Research Assistant in completion of a section titled ‘Planning Cities with Children in Mind’ for UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children Report 2012.

Apr.2010 – May2011:  Project evaluator and CERG Research Assistant for Child Friendly Communities, East Harlem, New York (Funder: US Fund for UNICEF)

Responsibilities: Evaluation of youth engagement and participation; develop and conduct project evaluation including observation of sessions with youth, pre-/post-test surveys, documentation of process using video, and individual interviews of staff; and assist project director in technical and research needs of project.

2009:  Research Assistant at Community Design Assistance Center, Blacksburg, Virginia for GIS Analysis of the Great Eastern Trail

Responsibilities: Site and contextual analysis and GIS related archival base-maps.

2008:  Research Assistant and Jr. Landscape Architect for Children’s Nature Education Outdoor Classroom, U.S.F.S., Jefferson National Forest, Virginia

Responsibilities: Conceptual design, site and contextual analysis to develop a creative learning outdoor environment for children.

2007:  Intern Landscape Architect at Mahan Rykiel Associates, Baltimore, Maryland

Relevant work: Conceptual designs and site analysis including soil and water analysis.

2006:  Intern Architect at Ravindra Bhan & Associates, New Delhi, India

Relevant work: Site planning of Memorial of National Leaders (specifically, Shaktisthal and Shantivan) in New Delhi and Hissar Park in Haryana, India.


Aug.2011 – Dec.2012:  Adjunct Lecturer, ‘Children of New York’, Department of Children and Youth tudies, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, New York.

Aug.2010 – May 2011:  Assistant Kindergarten Teacher, The Child Care Center, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York.

  • Wridt, P, Atmakur-Javdekar, S., and Hart R. (2015). ‘Spatializing children’s rights: A comparison of two case studies from urban India.’ Children, Youth and Environments 25(2).

Other Publications

  • Atmakur, S. (2013). Playgrounds of inclusion. State of The World’s Children 2013: Children with Disabilities.

Book Chapters

  • Atmakur-Javdekar, S. (2015) ‘Children’s play in urban areas’, in Evans, B. and Horton, J. (eds) Play, recreation, health and well being, Vol. 9 of Skelton, T. (editor-in-chief) Geographies of Children and Young People(Springer Singapore)

Assessment Instruments

  • Wridt, P., (project director); Atmakur, S. (project co-director); Kimiagar, B. (project co-director); Hart, R., (principal investigator); Young Citizens Score Cards, 2016, Plan International (
  • Wridt, P., (project director); Atmakur-Javdekar, S. (research associate and South Asia research coordinator); Hart, R., (principal investigator); Child Friendly Places Resource Kit, 2014, Bernard Van Leer Foundation (
  • Wridt, P., (project director); Hart, R., (project director); Atmakur-Javdekar, S. (research associate); Children’s Participatory Assessment Toolkit for Transitional Learning Spaces in Emergency Contexts, 2011, UNICEF ( in-emergencies/)

Technical Reports

  • Atmakur, S. Shaishav’s Street and Working Children’s Post-Evaluation Report, 2016, Comic Relief.
  • Atmakur-Javdekar, S. Technical Report of the Child Friendly Places Initiative – Gujarat, 2015, Shaishav and UNICEF India
  • Atmakur-Javdekar, S. Critical Review of the Child Friendly Places Initiative, Mumbai and Bhavnagar Cities, 2015, Bernard van Leer Foundation.
  • Wridt, P.; Atmakur-Javdekar, S. Child Friendly Places Global Evaluation Report – Global evaluation of a participatory, child rights approach to intergenerational assessment, planning and local development, 2015, Bernard van Leer Foundation.
  • Atmakur, S. Shaishav’s Street and Working Children’s Impact Evaluation Report, 2014, Comic Relief.
  • Atmakur, S. Shaishav’s Street and Working Children’s Pre-Evaluation Report, 2013, Comic Relief.
  • Wridt, P., Atmakur, S. Children’s Participatory Assessment Toolkit for Transitional Learning Spaces in Emergency Contexts, 2012, UNICEF (Education Section)
  • Wridt, P., Atmakur, S. Child Friendly Communities East Harlem, 2011, US Fund for UNICEF


2017 – 2018: Graduate Center Dissertation Award (5000 USD)

2017: Salzburg Global Seminar Fellowship for Session 574: The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play (4196 Euros)

2010 – 2011Graduate B University Fellowship, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

2008First place for poster presentation at Graduate Research Symposium, Virginia Tech

2007 – 2008Graduate Assistant Fellowship, Virginia Tech

2006University Gold Medal for first rank in Architecture, J.N.T.U.

2006The Hyderabad Regional Chapter of Indian Institute of Interior Designers Endowment Gold Medal for first rank in Architecture, J.N.T.U.

  • Atmakur, S. (January, 2017). Integrated Community Development: Perspectives and Contemporary Debates. Invited panelist for a national consultation on developing indicators for integrated community development. Apnalaya, Mumbai, India.
  • Atmakur-Javdekar, S. (September, 2016). Learning by reading and doing. Panel presentation at Post-graduate innovations and challenges: Navigating the research–pedagogy nexus session, Annual international conference RGS-IBG, Imperial college, London, UK.
  • Atmakur-Javdekar, S. (August, 2016). A critical analysis of play opportunities for young children living in high-rise housing in India. Paper presentation at Geographies of young children (1) session, Annual international conference RGS-IBG, Imperial college, London, UK.
  • Atmakur-Javdekar, S. (August, 2016). Environmental experiences of young children – Using environmental autobiography as a design method. Invited for guest lecture at B.N. College of Architecture, Pune, India.
  • Atmakur-Javdekar, S. (November, 2015). Play as a tool in participatory research. Invited speaker at the ‘Kaleidoscope 2015: A national conference on child rights – Participation and play in the urban context’ SNDT University, Mumbai, India.
  • Atmakur-Javdekar, S. (September, 2015). Opportunities for children’s play and socialization in dense urban living environments in urban India. Session chair and paper presentation at The influence of place and space on young people’s mobilities in urban and rural contexts session, Annual international conference RGS-IBG, University of Exeter, UK.
  • Atmakur-Javdekar, S. (September, 2015). Environmental Analysis of Children’s Play in Fast Growing Cities of Urban India. Paper presentation at Children and nature in the Anthropocene session, Annual international conference, RGS-IBG, University of Exeter, UK.
  • Atmakur-Javdekar, S. and Wridt, P. (January, 2015). Child friendly cities: Two cases – Mumbai and Bhavnagar, India. Paper presentation at the 4th international conference on the Geographies of children, youth and families, San Diego, USA.
  • Atmakur-Javdekar, S (September, 2014). Play trends in the West: Possible adaptations in India. Paper presentation at International play association India chapter – ‘Kaleidoscope of Play in India 2014’ – conference, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India.
  • Atmakur, S. (March, 2012). Creating play opportunities for ‘all’ children. Paper presentation at conference titled, In defense of childhood: Keeping the joy of learning alive, The City College of New York, CUNY, New York, USA.
  • Atmakur, S. and Wridt, P. (April, 2011). Child friendly communities, East Harlem. Datablitz presentation at the Second annual all-psychology research day, The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, USA.

  • Research Associate, Children’s Environments Research Group (CERG), Center for Human Environments, The Graduate Center, New York
  • Member of the International Play Association – World
  • Member of the Higher Education Research Group (HERG), Royal Geographical Society – International British Geographers (RGS-IBG), UK.
  • Member of the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group (GCYFRG), Royal Geographical Society – International British Geographers (RGS-IBG), UK.

  • Post-Graduate Representative for the Higher Education Research Group, Royal Geographical Society – International British Geographers (RGS-IBG), UK, September 2016 – 2017.
  • Conference organizer, National Conference on ‘Kaleidoscope of Play in India 2014’, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, India, September 2014.
  • Executive Committee, Environmental Psychology Program, CUNY, 2010 – 2012



  • Human Subjects Protocol, City University of New York, Graduate Center


  • English Hindi             • Telugu           • Kannada           • Marathi


  • Participatory design and facilitation with children and young people
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, website (WordPress) management and cloud computing
  • Graphic design and presentation applications including Adobe Photoshop and Adobe In-design
  • Reference manager software including Zotero and Mendeley
  • Statistical applications including SPSS 16.0 and SAS 9.2
  • Creative skills: Water color rendering, Prisma color rendering, Model making, Sketching (Pen & Ink)

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