San Francisco Urbanism traces the history of San Francisco’s planning, urban design and architecture from the acquisition of California by the United States in 1846 to the present day. Key moments that have had a significant impact on the urban form and architecture of the city, will be revisited, such as the Victorian-era, the Great Depression, Urban Renewal, The NIMBY revolt, and the more recent trend towards global contemporaneity. Economic, political and social factors that have affected the urbanism of San Francisco will be discussed in order to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of the larger forces that shape the city. Observing, documenting, analyzing and writing about the city through field trips will be a major emphasis throughout the class as will be reading. Ultimately, based on critical research, students will be encouraged to create their own subjective knowledge of the city.
Tanu Sankalia is an assistant professor in the Department of Art + Architecture where he teaches classes on architectural history, architectural design and urban planning. He has worked as an architect and urban designer in Mumbai and San Francisco, and is currently working on a book project called the Urban Unseen, which examines the role of interstitial spaces in San Francisco’s architecture and urban form.