University of Calgary

Sasha Tsenkova

  • Professor

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


MA (Architecture), MA (Urban Studies), PhD (Architecture), PhD

Personal Statement

A strong commitment to interdisciplinary research and scholarship has guided my career. I specialise in sustainable cities, urban planning and growth management, housing policy and comparative urban development. My research and professional activities in these areas for the World Bank, Council of Europe and the United Nations include a range of housing and urban projects in more than 30 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and Central Asia. I have published 25 books and research monographs and over 70 articles on urban policy, regeneration, urban sustainability and housing policy. My scholarship is internationally recognised by a number of other prestigious awards for international scholars, such as Killam Fellowship, Urban Studies Fellowship, Sasakawa Scholarship, International Peace Scholarship, and British Council Award.

Over the last 25 years I have lectured worldwide on urban sustainability and have been a visiting scholar/professor in the United State, Sweden, Scotland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Austria and Bulgaria. I enjoy the collaboration with my students on a variety of research projects through the Cities, Policy and Planning lab and have supervised more than 45 master's degree projects.

My research, scholarship and professional activities include a wide range of topics and interests, which can be categorized in two broad thematic areas: comparative housing and urban research and sustainable cities and planning. Since my appointment at the University of Calgary in 1999, I have been the principal investigator in more than 20 research projects with a total value of $1.47 million.

I have published extensively on issues related to the planning of sustainable cities, management of urban change, affordable housing and post-socialist transformation of housing and urban systems. I have over 130 publications. My research findings have been disseminated through active engagement in the scholarly community and include 94 invited lectures and presentations at international conferences in more than 40 countries, often as a keynote speaker. This illustrates the impact and the significant intellectual challenges of my research.

Selected Work


  • Tsenkova, S. (2013) Housing Policy and Practice: Transition, Complexity and Opportunity, Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing.
  • Tsenkova, S.; Ronald, R. (2012) (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home. Volume Institutions (over 100 articles). Oxford: Elsevier, .
  • Tsenkova, S.; Niebor, N.;Gruis, V.; van Hal, J. (eds.) (2012) Energy Efficiency in Housing Management: Policies and Practice in Eleven Countries. London: Routledge.
  • Tsenkova, S. and French, M. (2011) Affordable Land and Housing in Europe and North America. Nairobi: United Nations, UN-HABITAT.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2009) Housing Reforms in Post-socialist Europe. Lost In Transition. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.
  • Tsenkova, S.; Gruis, V.; Niebor, N. (eds.) (2009) Managing Privatised Housing: International Perspectives. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Tsenkova, S. Potsou, C. Badina, A. (2009) Self-Made Cities. Geneva: United Nations Economic Commission.
  • Tsenkova, S. and Nedovic-Budic, Z. (eds) (2006) The Urban Mosaic of Post-socialist Europe. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.
  • Tsenkova, S. and Lowe, S. (eds.) (2003) Housing Change in Central and Eastern Europe. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Limited.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2000) Housing in Transition and Transition in Housing: The Experience of Central and Eastern Europe, Sofia: Kapital.

Research Monographs  

  • Tsenkova, S.; Polanska, D. (2014) Special Issue on Housing Policy and Housing Transformation in Post-Socialist Cities, GeoJournal, August 2014, vol, 79 (4), guest editor
  • Tsenkova, S. (2011) Housing Reform: Implimentation Challenges and Opportunities in the UNECE Region. Geneva: UNECE
  • Tsenkova, S. (2009) (ed) Planning Sustainable Communities: Diversity of Approaches and Implementation Challenges. Calgary: Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, Cities, Policy & Planning Research Series.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2006) (ed) Places and People: Planning New Communities. Calgary: Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, Cities, Policy & Planning Research Series.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2005) Trends and Progress in Housing Reforms in South East Europe. Paris: Council of Europe Development Bank.
  • Tsenkova, S. et al. (2005) Serbia and Montenegro: Housing Profile, Geneva: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. 
  • Tsenkova, S. (2004) Sustainable Development in Human Settlements: Implementation Challenges and Opportunities. New York & Geneva: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Translated in French and Russian
  • Tsenkova, S. (2004) Lithuania Housing Strategy: Monitoring and Implementation. Vilnius: Ministry of Environment of Republic of Lithuania.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2002) A Concept for a Housing Monitoring System in Latvia, Riga: Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development. 
  • Tsenkova, S. (ed.) (2002) Urban Regeneration: Learning from the British Experience. Calgary: University of Calgary, Faculty of Environmental Design.
  • Tsenkova, S. et al. (2000) Lithuania: Housing Profile, Geneva: United Nations-Economic Commission for Europe. 
  • Tsenkova, S. et al. (1999) Slovakia: Housing Profile, Geneva: United Nations- Economic Commission for Europe. 

Journal Articles

  • Tsenkova, S. (2016) “Sustainable Housing & Livable Cities: The New Urban Agenda”. In Urban Research & Practice, vol. 9 (3), pp.322-326, DOI: 10.1080/17535069.2016.1240514, October 2016.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2014) “Investing in New York’s Future: Affordable Rental Housing in Mixed Income Projects”, Plan Canada, vol.53 (3), pp. 32-40.
  • Tsenkova, S.; Mahalek, D. (2014) “The Impact of Planning Policies on Bicycle-Transit Integration in Calgary”. Urban, Planning and Transport Research: vol. 2 (1), pp 126-146. DOI: 10.1080/21650020.2014.906910, 25 Apr 2014
  • Tsenkova, S. (2014) “Planning trajectories in post-socialist cities: patterns of divergence and change”. Urban Research & Practice, vol. 7 (3), pp. 278-301, DOI: 17535069.2014.966513: 29 Oct 2014
  • Tsenkova, S. (2014) “The housing policy nexus and people’s responses to housing challenges in post-communist cities”, Urban Challenge, vol. 25 (2), pp. 90-106
  • Tsenkova, S. (2014) “The social housing sector in Prague and Warsaw: trends and future prospects”, GeoJournal, vol 79 (4), pp. 433-447, DOI:10.1007/s10708-014-9535-0, February 2014
  • Tsenkova, S.; Polanska, D. (2014) “Between state and market: housing policy and housing transformation in post-socialist cities”, GeoJournal, vol. 79 (4), pp.401-405, DOI:10.1007/s10708-014-9538-x, February 2014
  • Tsenkova, S. (2014) “Resilience of Social Housing Systems: The European Experience”. The Planning Journal, APPI, Alberta Planning Institute, summer 2014, pp. 6-11.
  • Tsenkova, S.; Haas, T. (2013) “Planning Sustainable Communities: Europe’s New Model for Green Living in Stockholm”, Plan Canada, vol.53/1, pp. 22-32
  • Tsenkova, S. (2013) “Winds of Change and the Spatial Transformation of Post-socialist Cities” Baltic Worlds, Sodertons University, vol. 1, pp.20-26
  • Tsenkova, S. (2012) “Urban Planning and Informal Cities in Southeast Europe” Journal of Architectural and Planning Research 29 (4): 292-303.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2011) Venturing into unknown territory: Strategic spatial planning in post-socialist cities. Urban Challenge, 22(1): 5-21.
  • Tsenkova, S.; Witwer, M. (2011) Bridging the Gap: Policy Instruments to Encourage Private Sector Provision of Affordable Rental Housing in Alberta. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 20 (1): 52-80.
  • Tsenkova, S. Syal, B. (2011) Planning Sustainable Communities: Implementing Calgary’s Vision. APPI Planning Journal, Alberta Planning Institute, vol. 7: 23-27
  • Tsenkova, S. (2010)”The Phenomenon of Informal Settlements in Post-Socialist Cities: Factors and Patterns of Diversity”. Urban Challenge, 21(2): 73-84.
  • Tsenkova, S.; Damiani, R. (2009) “Urban Sustainability: Learning from Evaluation of Community Plans in Calgary”, Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 18 (1), pp. 82-106. 
  • Tsenkova, S. (2008) “The Comeback of Post-Socialist Cities”, Urban Research and Practice, 1 (3), pp. 291-310.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2007) “Reinventing Strategic Planning in Post-socialist Cities: Experiences from Sofia”. European Planning Studies, 15 (3), pp. 295-317.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2004) “Barriers to Housing Reforms: Asset Management of Public Housing in Latvia”. Open House International, 3 (2), pp. 1-21.
  • Tsenkova, S. and Turner, B. (2004) “The Future of Social Housing in Eastern Europe: Reforms in Latvia and Ukraine” European Journal of Housing Policy, 4 (2), pp. 133-149.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2003) “Post-socialist Cities in a Globalizing World”. PLANUM. pp 1-20,
  • Buckley, R. and Tsenkova, S. (2001) “Housing Market Systems in Reforming Socialist Economies: Comparative Indicators of Performance and Policy”. European Housing Policy 1(2), pp. 257-289.


  • Tsenkova, S.’ D. Andoni (2017) “A Partnership Model for Low Income Housing: The Experience of Albanian Cities”. RESHAPE Social Housing in Contemporary Europe. Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, April 19-21, 2017.
  • Burman, J, and S. Tsenkova ( 2016) "Connecting an Urban Mosaic: Open Spaces and Sustainable Places of Belgrade," Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the CROSS-AMERICAS: Probing Disglobal Networks 2016 Conference Proceedings, Santiago, Chile. 
  • Tsenkova, S. (2016) "A New Model for Social Housing in Post-Socialist Europe" In White Paper on Affordable Communities Everywhere. Harvard University/Barcelona Housing Systems Strategic Innovation Summit (ACE2016), June 2-4, 2016.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2016) 'Social Housing & Resilience' In Housing Crisis and Opportunity, Proceedings of ENHR/University of Belfast International Conference, Belfast, 28 June-July 1, 2016, W-6, pp.18.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2016) 'Green Retrofits & Social Housing in Canada' In Housing Crisis and Opportunity, Proceedings of ENHR/University of Belfast International Conference, Belfast, 28 June – July 1, W-8, pp.15.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2013) 'Social Housing in Europe' In Overcoming the Crisis, Integrating Urban Environments, Proceedings of ENHR/University Rovira i Virgili International Conference, Tarragona, 19-22 June, 2013, W-6, pp.18.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2013) 'Retrofits for the Future: Investing in Canada's Social Housing' In Overcoming the Crisis, Integrating Urban Environments, Proceedings of ENHR/University Rovira i Virgili International Conference, Tarragona, 19-22 June, 2013, W-11, pp.16.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2012) "Social Housing Provision in Prague and Warsaw". In Housing Markets in Post-Crisis Era., Proceedings of ENHR/NOVA International Conference, Lillehammer, 23-27 June 2012, W-6, pp.14.
  • Tsenkova, S.; Cliff, Ch. (2012) “Beyond Energy Efficiency: Investing in Social Housing in Vancouver”, In Housing Markets in Post-Crisis Era., Proceedings of ENHR/NOVA International Conference, Lillehammer, 23-27 June 2012, W-11, pp.12.


  • Tsenkova, S. (2016) "A New Model for Social Housing in Post-Socialist Europe", Affordable Communities Everywhere Strategic Innovators Forum, Harvard University, June 2-4, 2016.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2016) “Housing Inequality, Informality and the New Urban Agenda”, UN-HABITAT European Habitat Forum, Prague, March 17-21, 2016.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2014) “Improving Riga’s Neighbourhoods: Strategic Priorities, Investment and Resilience”, Reinhold Schmaeling International Conference, Riga — second wind for the housing estates. Riga, October 29, 2014.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2014) "ReNew Post-socialist Cities: The Future of Housing Estates and the Nexus of Economic and Social Capital". ReNewTown International Conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia, February 11, 2014.
  • Tsenkova, S. (2013) "Social housing and post-socialist dual housing policy" Keynote at Social Housing in Globalizing Urban Contexts, Scientific Workshop, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, April 5-6, 2013.


  • Visiting Scholar, Harvard University, Davis Centre, 2016
  • Canadian Institute of Planners Plan Canada Best Feature Article Award, 2014
  • Alberta Professional Planning Institute Legacy Scholarship, 2014
  • Visiting Scholar, New School, The Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy, New York, 2013
  • Visiting Scholar at Sodertorns University, CEEBS, Stockholm, 2012
  • Environmental Affairs, United Nations ECE, Geneva, 2007
  • Killam Resident Fellowship, University of Calgary, 2007
  • Visiting Scholar at OTB, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, 2006
  • Fellow of the Advanced Policy Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary 2005
  • International Academic Relations Fellowship, Department of Foreign Affairs, Ottawa, 2004
  • Urban Studies Journal Fellowship, 2003
  • Honorary Research Fellow, Social Sciences, University of Glasgow, 2003
  • Visiting Scholar, Institute of Housing and Urban Research, Gavle, Sweden, fall 2003
  • International Register of Profiles – 12th Edition, American Biographical Institute
  • University of Calgary Learning Commons Fellowship, 2001
  • Cities Alliance/Habitat Award for Sofia City Development Strategy, 2001
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 1998-1999
  • Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada Fellowship, 1997
  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, 1996-1997

For a complete list of publications, research grants and conference presentations, please review SASHA TSENKOVA’s Curriculum Vitae.

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