Sarah M. Bassett
Emerging Legacy Award
Sarah M. Bassett is an urban planner working on alternative approaches to the multiscale planning challenges of community resilience, spatial (in)justice, climate change, and technological determinism. Her work is in partnership with communities, governments, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, developers, and academic institutions advancing inclusive and future-looking sustainability efforts domestically and internationally.
Bassett is the cofounder of Peoples Culture, an arts and placemaking collective in New York City and Chicago focused on expanding the tradition of storytelling in urban planning to embrace media and technology. The organization looks to draw out community narratives to highlight connections between people and place, focusing on the potential to activate meaningful change through civically minded projects. This work has spanned diverse contexts and topics from mass incarceration and affordable housing to community conflict and terminal disease. This practice supports Bassett’s work in resilience planning for companies including AECOM and Hatch Consultants and the nonprofit sector, where she supports climate change adaptation and disaster recovery work to embed social and ecological sustainability practices into state/national planning frameworks.
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 helped author disaster recovery guidance featured within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Bassett is also recognized for her work on issues related to co-creation practices and community resilience. This work has been featured in various galleries, international film festivals, and MIT’s Co-Creation Studio and is part of the permanent collection at the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution. She holds a Master of Urban Planning from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.