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Bishwapriya Sanyal

Ford International Professor of Urban Development and Planning, 2002 - present
Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow

Ford International Professor of Urban Development and Planning, 2002 - present
Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow

Bishwapriya Sanyal
Ford International Professor of Urban Development and Planning, 2002 - present
Director, Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies in Developing Countries
Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow

Bishwapriya “Bish” Sanyal is the Ford International professor of urban development and planning, as well as director of the Special Program in Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) and the Humphrey Fellows Program at MIT. He joined the MIT faculty in 1984 as an assistant professor; he was named the head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning in 1994, a post he held until 2002. Professor Sanyal was also the chair of the Faculty at MIT from 2007 to 2009, and was one of four MIT professors named 2011 MacVicar Faculty Fellows, an honor that recognizes outstanding undergraduate teaching, mentoring, and educational innovation. He has advised major international institutions, including the United Nations Development Program, the United States Agency for International Development, and The World Bank.

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Early experiences in his homeland of India that opened his eyes to poverty.
  • Dual interests in aesthetics and putting theory into practice to solve real-world problems.
  • How hosting social gatherings as a new faculty member helped him forge important connections and friendships on campus.
  • Navigating simultaneous professional and family changes early in his career.
  • Why access to MIT is important for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Enjoying places of beauty on the MIT campus.
  • MIT’s leadership role in forging academic partnerships. 

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