Adam Tanaka is a PhD candidate in urban planning at Harvard University who focuses on affordable housing and real estate development. His research interests lie at the confluence of urban history, political science, and business studies.
At Radcliffe, Tanaka is completing his dissertation on large-scale, middle-income housing in New York City. Offering a counterpoint to familiar narratives of postwar suburbanization and central city disinvestment, the project analyzes the role of four kinds of developers in building vast communities for middle-class New Yorkers from the 1940s through 1970s: life insurance companies, labor unions, private developers, and public authorities.
Tanaka received a BA in art history and urban studies from Princeton University and an AM in urban planning from Harvard. In 2015–2016, he was a visiting scholar at the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy and a John R. Meyer Dissertation Fellow at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. He has also worked for a variety of New York City agencies on affordable housing, public finance, and land use–related matters.