Areas of Interest
planning for equity, affordable housing policy, multi-level governance, urban politics, comparative planning, and community development

Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning
Urban and Regional Planning


/ Recent Taubman Graduate

Naganika Sanga

Naganika is a doctoral candidate in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan. Her interests center on the issues of equity, advocacy, and governance in urban areas. Opposing systemic racism and harm through adverse policy, negligence, or sheer ambivalence to issues of equity and social justice, is a key motivation to her professional efforts and research interests. She uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches, including ethnography, grounded theory, policy analysis, survey design, and community-based participatory action research in her research.

Her doctoral project is a three-paper dissertation that examines the success of inclusionary housing policies in India and the United States. Her research situates inclusionary housing policies within a multi-level governance framework, to examine the role higher-level governments play in local implementation. The first paper, based on India, recently published in the Journal of Urban Affairs, argues that national housing policies must promote socioeconomic integration and equity at multiple levels to deliver integrated and sustainable housing options for low-income families. Her second and third papers examine inclusionary housing policy implementation in three progressive US cities – Austin, Nashville, and Portland, against varying state resistance in the form of preemptions.

Before coming to the University of Michigan to pursue her doctorate, she worked for seven years as a policy planner and analyst in the United Kingdom and India. She worked in the areas of international development, planning for informal settlements, governance studies, housing policy, land management, and information systems.  She obtained her undergraduate degree in Urban Planning from Jawaharlal Nehru Arts and Architecture University, India, and a master’s degree in International Planning and Development from Cardiff University, U.K.

At the University of Michigan, she was involved in diverse research collaborations working with refugee communities, government, and professional organizations on university-community partnerships, social equity framework, and fostering student-led tech innovation. She hopes to continue using her technical and policy analysis skills to identify fruitful areas for intervention through community advocacy and systemic change.

Recent Publications:

Sanga, N., (2021). Low-income housing development in India: Strategies for income mixing and inclusive urban planning. Journal of Urban Affairs.

Sanga, N., Gonzalez Benson, O., Josyula, L. (2021).  Top-Down Processes Derail Bottom-Up Objectives: A Study in Community Engagement and ‘Slum-Free City Planning’. Journal of Community Development.

Pimentel Walker, A., Sanga, N., Gonzalez Benson, O., & Yoshihama, M. (2021). Risk Communication and Institutional Racism: The Protective Health Effect of Refugee Community Organizations. Health Security, 19(S1).

Pimentel Walker, A., Sanga, N., Gonzalez Benson, O., Yoshihama, M., Routte, I., (2021). Participatory Action Research in Times of COVID-19: Adapting Approaches with Refugee-Led Community-Based Organizations. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action (Forthcoming)