Tanu Sankalia

Tanu Sankalia


Full-Time Faculty


Tanu Sankalia is a tenured full professor in the Department of Art + Architecture, and coordinates the Urban Studies Concentration within the Environmental Studies Program. 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 and creative work covers a wide range of topics related to architecture and urbanism, from the local context of the San Francisco Bay Area to the global perspectives of India and Latin America. His articles and essays have appeared in the Journal of Urban Design, Journal of Urban History, Journal of Planning History, and City, among others. He is co-editor of Urban Reinventions: San Francisco’s Treasure Island (University of Hawaii Press, 2017), and is currently completing a manuscript titled The Urban Unseen: San Francisco’s Interstitial Spaces.

Professor Sankalia is co-director of the Center for Research Artistic and Scholarly Excellence (CRASE) at the University of San Francisco. In 2011, he co-founded El Círculo, one of the longest standing faculty and staff reading groups on campus, which meets weekly during semesters to read and discuss critical theory.


  • Co-Director, Center for Research, Artistic, and Scholarly Excellence (CRASE)


  • UC Berkeley, Master of Urban Design, 1999
  • School of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India, Bachelor of Architecture, 1994

Selected Publications

  • Tanu Sankalia (2019) "Public space and citizenship in Mumbai City", 23:3, 306-326, DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2019.1647707
  • Tanu Sankalia, "Hybrid Place: A Reading of Cuetzalan, Mexico," Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, Vol.32 No.2 (Spring 2020), pp.71-84
  • 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.