University of Calgary

Dr. Tsenkova on comparative housing policies and sustainable cities

Submitted by jwalla on Mon, 2012/12/03 - 3:24pm.

Dr. Tsenkova is a Professor of Planning and International Development at EVDS. Her research on comparative housing policies and sustainable cities is disseminated in over 34 articles, research reports and books published in the last two years. Her recent book Energy Efficiency in Housing Management: Policies and Practice in Eleven Countries is the first comparative evaluation of the economic, social and environmental benefits of energy efficiency retrofits in the social housing sector. She is the editor of the first International Encyclopedia of Housing & Home, a major reference work released in 2012, edited by distinguished international scholars with exceptional reputation.

“This is a critical milestone in my scholarly career" states Tsenkova. "I have been privileged to collaborate with over 180 scholars from Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America in the last three years to bring a well rounded overview of institutions in housing policy and housing markets. The work has been challenging and intellectually rewarding as this volume (one out of seven) will define scholarly work and critical professional practice for decades.”

Tsenkova collaborates with different academic institutions and research centers in over 15 countries for her scholarly work and international projects and has been awarded fellowships at the Universities of Vienna (Austria), Delft (The Netherlands), Sodertorn Sweden) and the Danish Building Research Institute (Denmark) in the last three years. Her research and professional activities in the area of comparative housing policy for the Council of Europe and the United Nations include a range of housing and urban projects in more than 20 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and Central Asia.

Throughout her professsional career, Tsenkova’s research has influenced the work of academic institutions, governments, public and civil society organisations engaged in the field of housing policy and urban planning in Europe and beyond. These are action-oriented research projects with a strong policy focus that involve extensive collaboration with international agencies, government officials from different countries, academics and policy makers. Being a leader of such challenging and unique projects speaks to her national and international reputation. The results are featured in scholarly work, but more importantly have defined innovative models for training and capacity building, provision of social housing and strategic planning in international settings.

In her lectures, Tsenkova is a passionate advocate for affordable housing and socially inclusive development. In the last three years, she has presented her research at 40 international conferences in 18 countries, often as keynote speaker, which speaks to its diversity and intellectual challenge. Despite her personal commitment to environmental sustainability, Sasha realises that her ecological footprint is disproportionately high, mostly due to the 80,000 miles of annual travel. She enjoys the collaboration with EVDS students through the Cities, Policy & Planning lab on the first national study exploring the potential of energy efficiency retrofits as a solution for sustainable housing in Canada as well as on a SSHRC project “Renaissance of Social Housing in Europe”.

In 2012, Tsenkova taught an interdisciplinary course Sustainability in the City, introducing EVDS students to best practices of sustainable regeneration and innovative design in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Delft and Rotterdam. She believes in experiential learning and brings her extensive international knowledge to the classroom. Her students from the Housing & Neighbourhood Change course explored the Olympic Village, False Creek and Downtown East Side in Vancouver in the winter of 2012 through a mix of lectures, neighbourhood audits and walking tours.

Despite her extensive international commitments, Tsenkova is very active in professional associations in Canada. In 2012 she became a member of the editorial board of Plan Canada and is elected on the Alberta Professional Planning Institute Continuous Learning Committee.

To learn more about Tsenkova's research click here.

To view more faculty research, click here.