Sarah Bassett

Learning Enterprise Scholar 2022–2024
Professor of Practice
ASU Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

Downtown Phoenix Campus


Sarah M. Bassett is a Professor of Practice at Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. She is an urban planner and resilience specialist working on multiscale planning challenges at the intersection of community sustainability, disaster recovery, and spatial justice. Her work is in partnership with communities, governments, public/private organizations, developers, and academic institutions. Concentrating on both local and policy level transformations, her particular area of focus is in exploring alternative approaches for how vulnerable communities can respond to and recover from the chronic stresses and acute shocks of climate change, rapid urbanization, and technological determinism.

In tandem with her role at Arizona State University, Bassett is the co-founder of Peoples Culture, an arts and placemaking collective focused on storytelling for policy advocacy using civically minded co-created projects. This work embraces media and technology as a way to create connections to places and people, spanning diverse contexts and topics from hazard mitigation and mass incarceration to geo-political conflict and terminal disease. This practice supports Bassett's work with companies including AECOM and Hatch Consultants and the nonprofit sector, where she focuses on embedding social and ecological resilience into local, state, and federal planning frameworks and governance processes.

Bassett worked on sustainable urban development and spatial justice policy as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar (Mongolia) and a NEURUS scholar (The Netherlands). Her planning work has been recognized by the American Planning Association and the Federal Highway Administration. She has also helped author disaster recovery guidance featured within the Transportation Research Board, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Additionally, Bassett is recognized for multiple co-created works, which have been featured in various galleries, national museums, international media festivals, and MIT's Co-Creation Studio.