Sara Meerow

Academic Fellow 2019
Assistant Professor
ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning; Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability; Urban Climate Research Center

Tempe Campus


Sara Meerow is an interdisciplinary social-ecological systems scientist working at the intersection of urban geography and planning. Her research tackles the challenge of how to make cities more resilient in the face of climate change and other social and environmental hazards. She combines more conceptual studies of urban resilience with empirical research on the complexities of green infrastructure and climate change adaptation planning in a range of cities. Meerow emphasizes problem-driven, collaborative research that combines qualitative and quantitative methods with spatial analysis. She earned her doctorate in 2017 from the School of Natural Resources and Environment (now the School for Environment and Sustainability) at the University of Michigan. She also has a master's in international development studies from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.


Ph.D. Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan

M.S. International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam 

B.A. Political Science and History, University of Florida


Moser, Susanne, Sara Meerow, James C. Arnott, Emily Jack-Scott. 2019. “The Turbulent world of resilience: Interpretations and themes for transdisciplinary dialogue.” Climatic Change. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-018-2358-0 

Woodruff, Sierra, Sara Meerow, Melissa Stults, Chandler Wilkins. 2018. “Adaptation to Resilience Planning: Alternative pathways to prepare for climate change.” Journal of Planning Education and Research. DOI: 10.1177/0739456X18801057.

Zhang, Zhenzhen, Sara Meerow, Joshua P. Newell, Mark Lindquist. 2019. “Enhancing Landscape Connectivity through Multifunctional Green Infrastructure Corridor Modeling and Design.” Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 38: 305-317

Meerow, Sara. 2017. "Weathering the storm: The politics of urban climate change adaptation planning." Environment and Planning A. DOI: 10.1177/0308518X17735225

Meerow, Sara. 2017. “Double exposure, infrastructure planning, and urban climate change resilience in coastal megacities: A case study of Manila.” Environment and Planning A. DOI:10.1177/0308518X17723630

Meerow, Sara and Joshua P. Newell. 2017. “Spatial planning for multifunctional green infrastructure: Growing resilience in Detroit.” Landscape and Urban Planning. 159: 62-75.

Meerow, Sara and Joshua P. Newell. 2016. “Urban resilience for whom, what, when, where, and why?” Urban Geography. DOI:10.1080/02723638.2016.1206395.

Meerow, Sara and Melissa Stults. 2016. “Comparing conceptualizations of urban climate resilience in theory and practice.” Sustainability. 8(7): 701.

Meerow, Sara, Joshua P. Newell, Melissa Stults. 2016. “Defining Urban Resilience: A Review.” Landscape and Urban Planning. 147: 38-49.

Nordgren, John, Melissa Stults, Sara Meerow. 2016. “Supporting Local Climate Change Adaptation: Where we are and where we need to go.” Environmental Science and Policy. 66: 344-352.

Meerow, Sara and Joshua P. Newell2015. “Resilience and Complexity: A Bibliometric Review and Prospects for Industrial Ecology.” Journal of Industrial Ecology. 19(2): 236-251.

Stults, Melissa, John R. Nordgren, Sara Meerow, Melisa Ongun, Rachel Jacobson, and Cory Hamilton. 2015. "Assessing the Climate Adaptation Resource and Service Landscape" in Bullock, Haddow, Haddow, and Coppola (Eds.), Living with Climate Change: How Communities are Surviving and Thriving in a Changing Climate. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Meerow, Sara and Isa Baud. 2012. “Generating Resilience: Exploring the Contribution of the Small Power Producer and Very Small Power Producer Programs to the Resilience of Thailand’s Power Sector.” International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development. 4(1): 20-38. 

Mans, Ulrich and Sara Meerow. 2012. “Linking Green City Politics with Green Business” in Simpson and Zimmerman (Eds.), The Economy of Green Cities: World Compendium on the Green Urban Economy. ICLEI-Springer Series: Local Sustainability 3. Dordrecht: Springer.

Lindberg, Staffan and Sara Meerow. 2011. “Persistent Authoritarianism and the Future of Democracy in Africa” in Brown (ed.) Democratization: Doubt, Dictatorship, Diffusion, and Development. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. 

Research Activity: 

NSF Humans, Disasters, and the Built Environment (HDBE) #1825367 (2018–2020) “Collaborative Research: Evaluating the potential for urban resilience planning to mitigate long-term flood risks.” 

Expertise Areas

Urban Planning


Urban Design & Sustainable Cities



Sustainability Science & Studies

Urban Infrastructure

Urban Social-Ecological Systems

Ecosystem Services