Sara Tabatabaie
Teaching Assistant Professor
Sustainable Planning & Urban Design • Landscape Architecture

Office: ​ENVD 158

Community Engagement | Urban Design | Healthy Community Design | Urban Greenness | Human Behavior and Design

Sara Tabatabaie received her PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado Boulder; her research has focused on the nexus between community health, design of the built environment and policies that shape human behaviors. She also holds her MA in urban planning and design from McGill University and her BS in civil engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Iran. Over the past decade, Sara has been working in the neighborhoods of Denver and Boulder on a variety of issues related to the built environment and health, including active mobility, urban greenness, sun safety and integrated ecology.

Since 2018, Sara has served as a lecturer and instructor in the program in Environmental Design, teaching a variety of studios and lectures in sustainable urban planning and design, as well as landscape architecture. She is also a research associate at the Community Engagement, Design and Research Center (CEDaR) at CU Boulder. In this position, she has managed community-based urban planning, environmental planning, and environmental health projects. Moreover, Sara has had experience working with several design firms and non-profits in the U.S. and Canada.

As an interdisciplinary educator and researcher, Sara employs methods of community engagement, and a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods to study and teach topics across the fields of environmental health, equity and urban ecology.


Tabatabaie, S., Litt, J. S., & Muller, B. H. (2023). Sidewalks, trees and shade matter: A visual landscape assessment approach to understanding people’s preferences for walking. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening84, 127931.

Tabatabaie, S., Litt, J.S. & Crane, L.A. The experience of outdoor physical activity for skin cancer survivors: understanding the importance of the built and natural environments. J Cancer Surviv (2020).

Tabatabaie, S., Litt, J. S., & Carrico, A. (2019). A Study of Perceived Nature, Shade and Trees and Self-Reported Physical Activity in Denver. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(19), 3604.

McAndrews, C., Tabatabaie, S., & Litt, J. S. (2018). Motivations and strategies for bicycle planning in rural, suburban, and low-density communities: The need for new best practices. Journal of the American Planning Association, 84(2), 99-111.

Nassiri, H., Tabatabaie, S., & Sahebi, S. (2017). Delay-based Passenger Car Equivalent at Signalized Intersections in Iran. PROMET-Traffic&Transportation, 29(2), 135-142.