Professor Hughes' research focuses on the political and institutional dimensions of sustainable and equitable water and climate change policies, primarily in the urban context. Current projects examine the politics and production of safe and affordable drinking water in the U.S., the policy failures behind the Flint water crisis, and urban climate change governance, including equitable approaches to building urban climate resilience.
Hughes, Sara. 2019. "Repowering Cities: Governing Climate Change Mitigation in New York City, Los Angeles, and Toronto," Cornell University Press
Hughes, Sara, Eric Chu, and Susan Mason. 2018. "Climate Change in Cities: Innovations in Multilevel Governance," Springer Press
Hughes, Sara, Sarah Dobie, Kirsten Schwarz, Genevieve LaMarr LeMee, Madeleine Lane, Andres Gonzalez. Forthcoming. “Centering Racial Justice in Urban Flood Resilience Policy and Planning: Tools for practitioners and stakeholders,” Environmental Justice
Hughes, Sara, Sarah Giest, and Laura Tozer. 2020. “Accountability and Data-Driven Urban Climate Governance,” Nature Climate Change 10: 1085-1090.
Hughes, Sara. 2020 “Flint, Michigan and the Politics of Safe Drinking Water in the US,” Perspectives on Politics, First View, pp. 1-14. doi:10.1017/S153759272000136X.
Hughes, Sara. 2020. “Principles, Drivers, and Policy Tools for Just Climate Change Adaptation in Legacy Cities,” Environmental Science and Policy, Vol. 111, pp. 35-41.
Hughes, Sara and Matthew Hoffmann. 2020. “Just Urban Transitions: Toward a Research Agenda,”
WIREs Climate Change, e640. doi: 10.1002/wcc.640
Hughes, Sara, Samer Yordi, Laurel Besco. 2020. “The Role of Pilot Projects in Urban Climate Change
Policy Innovation,” Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 48(2): 271-297.
Hughes, Sara, Daniel Miller Runfola, Benjamin Cormier. 2018. “Issue Proximity and Policy Response of Local Governments,” Review of Policy Research, Vol. 35(2): 192-212.
National Science Foundation, 2021-2024
“Feeling the Squeeze: How Financial Stress Shapes Decision-Making and the Resilience of Municipal Drinking Water Systems”
Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant, 2020-2024
“The 100 Resilient Cities Initiative: A Natural Experiment in the Politics of Creating a Sustainable World” (with Matthew Hoffmann, University of Toronto)
University of Michigan Poverty Solutions, 2020-2021
“Understanding How Poverty Affects Water Affordability in Detroit”
University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute, 2020-2021
“Supporting Justice in Urban Climate Change Adaptation”
PhD in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara