Sarah Brown ’22

Headshot of Sarah_Brown_2020


Project Title

Cities: Happiness Factors Across Varying Scales and Provisional Changes in Response to COVID-19

Certificate(s): Cognitive Science, Environmental Studies

I worked on two projects related to creating more sustainable and resilient urban systems. The first focused on the factors that influence perceptions of well-being so that city planners can better identify their priorities. For my second project, I documented, analyzed and shared municipal responses to COVID-19 in order to help improve resiliency to future shocks. In this internship, I listened to and transcribed interviews with government officials, helped edit and test-run the subjective well-being survey, identified possible patterns in interview data, and analyzed data from the previous well-being survey. I learned how to design a survey using Qualtrics software, basic use of the Strata statistical software, and how to clean and manage data. Beyond these concrete skills, I greatly expanded my knowledge of city governance in reaction to shocks and of the complex and emerging study of subjective well-being. This work felt tangible, pressing and important. In a summer where COVID-19 disrupted most students’ plans, I was able to engage with and learn from challenges being experienced globally.

Internship Year


Project Category

Urban Systems and Planning for a Sustainable Future


Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Systems Lab, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University


Anu Ramaswami, Sanjay Swani ’87 Professor of India Studies, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Dana Boyer, Research and Development Manager, High Meadows Environmental Institute; Kirti Das, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Civil and Environmental Engineering