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 in the School of Public Affairs, Emergency Management & Homeland Security program at Arizona State University and co-Director of the Resilient Visions (RV) CoLab. She specializes in a transdisciplinary planning practice that addresses the social and spatial effects of natural and technological hazards. Core to this is working in partnership with communities on how to adapt and manage their risk from these uncertain conditions in an effort to support a more humane urbanism. This work combines place-based practices, digital storytelling, and policy advocacy to connect local needs with long-range and state/federal planning and policy change. In 2022, Sarah was elected to the national board of the American Planning Association’s Technology Division.

As the co-founder and director of urbanism at Peoples Culture, a collective in New York City, her co-created work uses digital storytelling to create connections to places and people, spanning diverse contexts and topics around uncertainty from climate adaptation and mass incarceration to geo-political conflict and terminal disease, that help drive policy change. Bassett has published and exhibited multiple co-created works which have been featured in the New York Times, is archived with The Smithsonian Institution, featured in MIT's Co-Creation Studio and publications, and (most personally meaningful) has successfully influenced state policy change in both North Carolina and New York.

Prior to joining ASU, Sarah held senior-level positions at some of the largest planning firms in New York City and the US Southeast where she helped established new offices, expanded practice areas, and served in regional leadership roles where she partnered with states, cities, and communities to lead climate adaptation, disaster recovery, green infrastructure/nature-based infrastructure, multi-modal infrastructure, and long-range planning projects. This work has been recognized and published by the American Planning Association, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Transportation Research Board, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She continues to practice in these areas in the US East and Southwest.