Dr Tom Sanya

Senior Lecturer and Convener of Bachelor of Architectural Studies Programme
Sustainable design, architectural design, design research, and building processes, products and outcomes under an ecosystem services framework and within the broader notion of sustainable development


As a senior lecturer Tom’s current major research is the design of a low-cost Cape Town house that optimises health and sustainability goals – especially in relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The project, which is funded by the UK Wellcome Trust, is in partnership with researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University College London (UCL), and others in Mexico City and New Delhi.

Climate change and Development link:

Tom’s teaching and research activities are framed by ecosystem perspectives to focus on the sustainable design of the built environment. His academic pursuits are in low-energy design, water sensitive design and ecological urbanism for human wellbeing, social justice and ecosystem vitality. In these endeavours, Interdisciplinary collaboration with academic, professional and community constituencies are important. Tom is a core member of the interdisciplinary Urban Water Management research unit. He is also founding member of the UCT Future Water Institute – one of the five strategic cross-faculty institutes recently established at the university.

Contact: tom.sanya@uct.ac.za