Tanu Sankalia

Tanu Sankalia

Associate Professor

Program Director • Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-5790 XARTS 014


Tanu Sankalia is Associate Professor and Program Director of the interdisciplinary program in Urban Studies at the University of San Francisco where he teaches courses in urban planning and design, architectural and urban history, and architectural design. He was trained in urban design at UC Berkeley, and in architecture at the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad, from where he graduated with a gold medal for the best diploma thesis.

Professor Sankalia's research interests cover areas of urbanism and architecture from the local context of the San Francisco Bay Area to the global perspectives of India and Latin America. Current projects include an article on public space and citizenship in Mumbai; essays on the shared experiences of urban space and modernity in South Asia and Latin America; and a book manuscript titled The Urban Unseen, which explores the historical, theoretical, and design themes related to interstitial spaces in San Francisco’s nineteenth century residential fabric. He is co-editor of Urban Reinventions: San Francisco’s Treasure Island, a collected volume of essays published by the University of Hawaii Press, 2017.  

Professor Sankalia is co-founder of the University of San Francisco faculty reading group El Círculo, which meets every week to read and discuss critical theory.

Program Director, Urban Studies
Master of Urban Design, University of California, Berkeley
Bachelor of Architecture, School of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India
Selected Publications

Tanu Sankalia (2019) "Public space and citizenship in Mumbai City", 23:3, 306-326, DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2019.1647707

Sankalia, T. (2019). “Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, and Urban Development in the San Francisco Bay Area.” In “Bright Future or Cautionary Tale? How the Bay Area Shapes the Future of the U.S.” CRASE (Center for Research, Artistic, and Scholarly Excellence) Blog, Special Issue.

Sankalia, T. (2018). Book review of “Building Histories: The Archival and Affective Lives of Five Monuments in Modern Delhi.” in Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, 29(2), 85-86

Sankalia, T. (2017). “Visions of an Island Ectopia”. Book chapter in Horiuchi, L and Sankalia, T. Eds. Urban Reinventions: San Francisco’s Treasure Island, University of Hawaii Press.

Sankalia, T. and Horiuchi, L., eds. (Sept. 30, 2017). Urban Reinventions: San Francisco's Treasure Island. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Sankalia, T. (2017). “Power Planning and Policy: The Planning Histories of Ottawa and Toronto.” Review essay. Journal of Planning History.

Sankalia, T. (2015). Book review of “The Durable Slum: Dharavi and the Right to Stay Put in Globalizing Mumbai.” in Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, 27(1), 86-87

Sankalia, T. (2014). "The Median Picnic: Street Design, Urban Informality and Public Space Enforcement." Journal of Urban Design, 19(4), 473-495.

Sankalia, T. (2014). "Perception and Exploration of Interstitial Space: Slots in San Francisco." In Terrain Vague: Interstices at the Edge of the Pale, eds. Manuela Mariani and Patrick Barron. London: Routledge, 77-85.

Sankalia, T. (2013). "Wish Images for Twentieth Century (American) Cities." Review essay. Journal of Urban History, 39(2), 348-356.

Sankalia, T. (2011). "The Optical Unconscious: Interstitial Space in San Francisco." Nordic Journal of Architecture, 1, 90-95.

Sankalia, T. (2011). "Excavating Minutia: Identity, Memory and Interstitial Space in San Francisco." 99th Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Conference Proceedings, eds. Alberto Perez-Gomez, Anne Cormier and Annie Pedret. Washington DC: ACSA Press, 550-561.

Sankalia, T. (2009). "From Facade to Interstitial Space: Reframing San Francisco's Victorian Residential Architecture." The Cultural Politics of Dwellings, ed. Nezar AlSayyad, International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE) Working Paper Series, 213, 25-80.


(2018) – KPFA Radio, Upfront (Interview begins at 1:31:00)

(2017) The City of Tomorrow, World Affairs

(2017) Why Do SF's New Real Estate Developments Look So Similar?, hoodline

(2016) KQED Forum, Treasure Island Development