Sara Carr Biography

Sara Carr - Northeastern University

Sara Carr

Assistant Professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and Landscape
College of Arts, Media and Design

[email protected] 

Areas of Expertise

Built Environment
Public Engagement


Sara Jensen Carr teaches design studios and interdisciplinary seminars focused on articulating the connections between urban landscapes, ecological resilience, and health equity. She also works with local nonprofit organizations and community groups focused on related projects such as green space access, heat island mitigation, and design of the public realm. Sara is a licensed architect, holds a PhD in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning from University of California Berkeley, and a former Mellon Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. She has previously worked and taught in New Orleans, the San Francisco Bay Area, and across the Hawaiian Islands. Prior to arriving at Northeastern, she held a joint appointment in the School of Architecture and Office of Public Health Studies at University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

Project Description

Her work explores how design, planning, and urban landscapes shift in response to epidemics as well as disease narratives and discovery and has been funded by the Graham Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and the J.M. Kaplan Fund. Her book The Topography of Wellness: How Health and Disease Shaped the American Landscape (University of Virginia Press, 2021) received mentions from The New York Times, The New Yorker, Bloomberg CityLab, and The New Republic, among others, and has been interviewed by the BBC, CBC, CNN, and Boston Public Radio regarding COVID’s impact on the physical environment. Her current research examines spatial inequities in the distribution of climate effects and health in the built environment as well as adaptive strategies to repair them. With Faculty Scholar Miso Kim, she is also studying the mental and physical health burden of climate change on young adults.

Publications – Past Three Years


Carr, S.J. (2021). The Topography of Wellness: Health and American Urban Landscape. University of Virginia Press.
Winner of 2022 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize; Special Jury Recognition from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects (BSLA) 2022 Design Awards


Carr, S.J., McIntosh, A., Murphy, M.R., & Ochsendorf, J. (2022). Schools that Breathe: Studio Education in the Pandemic. Journal of Architectural Education, 76, 60 – 74.

Carr, S.J. (2021). Water is Wealth: Occupation and erasure in Honolulu’s urban landscape and its ecological future. Places Journal.

Carr, S.J. (2020). Alien Landscapes: NASA, Hawai’i and interplanetary occupation. The Avery Review, 50.

Carr, S. J. (2020). Uncertain Space: Data Illusions and the Landscape of Illness in the 21st Century. Projections, 15(Practices of Health in Unruly Environments).

Carr, S.J. Corporeal Ecologies. (2020). LA+ Interdisciplinary Journal of Landscape Architecture (11 Vitality), 8-9.

Hafoka, S., & Carr, S.J. (2019). Facilitators and Barriers to Being Physically Active in a Rural Hawai‘i Community: A Photovoice Perspective. Asia Pacific Island Nursing Journal, 3(4), 160-167.

Book Chapters

Carr, S.J. (2022). Reconsider the Street. In B. Brownell (Ed.), The Corona Effect: Toward an Inoculated Architecture. Princeton Architectural Press. (in press).

Carr, S.J. (2022). Pollution. In S. Altschuler, P. Wald, & J. Metzl (Eds.), Keywords for Health Humanities. New York University Press. (in press).

Carr, S.J. (2023). Quarantine, eradication and prescription: How health segregated the American urban landscape. In T. Way (Ed.), Spatial Inequalities and Segregation in the Urban Landscape. Dumbarton Oaks Press. (in press). 

Carr, S.J. (2021). Ecology to pathology: ‘Scientific’ architecture, health and American public housing landscapes. In J. Haffner (Ed.), In Landscapes of Housing. Routledge.