Program in Environmental Design

University of Colorado Boulder

Tori Derr

Senior Instructor
Office: 145


Victoria Derr is a Senior Instructor in the Program in Environmental Design at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  For more than 20 years, Victoria has engaged communities in participatory research, design and planning for vibrant and resilient communities.  She is the Assistant Director for the Children, Youth and Environments Center for Community Engagement at CU and works closely with Growing Up Boulder to coordinate children and youth engagement in design and planning with the City of Boulder. She also currently supports a student-initiative for garden-to-table programming at CU and is developing otter conservation materials for New Mexico and the Himalayan region of Asia.  Victoria holds a masters and Ph.D. from Yale University.


  • Ph.D. Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven CT,  2001
  • M.E.S. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven CT,  1995
  • B.A. cum laude, Biology and Writing, Hope College, Holland MI, 1990

Research Interests

  • Community engagement in design and planning
  • Increasing youth voice through arts and planning
  • Biophilic and restorative environmental design
  • Children's access to nature
  • Food systems and restorative commons
  • Ecological restoration and conservation

Courses Taught

  • ENVD 1052: Design and Communication Studio; Fall 2013
  • ENVD 2130: Landscape Design Studio; Spring 2013
  • ENVD 3300: Restorative Commons; Spring 2013 and 2014
  • ENVD 2120: Urban Design & Planning Studio; Fall 2012
  • ENVD 4361: Community Engagement; Spring 2012
  • ENVD 4023: Environmental Impact Assessment; Spring 2012, Fall 2012 and 2013
  • ENVD 3001: Environment & Behavior; Fall 2011
  • ENVS 4100: Issues and Approaches to Collaborative Forest Restoration; May 2011
  • ENVD 4420: Planning Capstone, Spring 2014
  • ENVD 4764: Sustainable Design and Planning; Fall 2010
  • EBIO 1220: General Biology; Summer 2010

Selected Publications

  • Derr, V., L. Chawla, M. Mintzer, D. Flanders-Cushing, W. van Vliet. 2013.  "A City for All Citizens:  Integrating Children and Youth from Marginalized Populations into City Planning."  Buildings. Special Issue on Designing Spaces for City Living 3(3), 482-505; doi:10.3390/buildings3030482

  • Derr, V. and S.R. Kellert. 2013. Making Children’s Environments “R.E.D.”:  Restorative Environmental Design and Its Relationship to Sustainable Design.In E. Pavlides and J. Wells (Eds.):  Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference of the Environmental Design Research Association.  Providence, Rhode Island.  May 29-June 1, 2013.

  • Derr, V. and K. Lance.  2012.  Biophilic Boulder:  Children’s Environments that Foster Connections to Nature.  Journal of Children, Youth and Environments 22(2):112-143.

  • Chawla, L. and V. Derr.  2012. The Development of Conservation Behaviors in Childhood and Youth.  S. Clayton (Ed.), Handbook on Environmental and Conservation Psychology.  Oxford University Press.