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Scott Cloutier

Scott Cloutier

Assistant Professor, School of Sustainability

Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives
Arizona State University
PO Box 878009
Tempe, AZ 85287-8009


  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Assistant Professor, School of Sustainability


Dr. Scott Cloutier is an Assistant Professor, Walton Sustainability Fellow and Senior Sustainability Scholar within the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. He is focused on charting a new course for sustainability to maximize opportunities for happiness. Scott’s experience and expanding research agenda revolve around three key elements: (1) Sustainable Urban/Neighborhood Development research designed to integrate community development subsystems (e.g. water, waste, energy, transportation, business and economic development) to maximize community well-being through sustainable interventions; (2) Qualitative and Quantitative Mixed Method research designed to explore and reflect human/built-and-natural-environment/sustainability connections from both subjective and objective perspectives; and (3) Theoretical Processes research around constructs of quality of life, community well-being, subjective well-being (happiness), hedonia, eudaimonia and biological underpinnings.

Scott currently leads the Sustainable Neighborhoods for Happiness™ (SNfH) project - a multi-year research, teaching and applied sustainability solutions effort to improve neighborhood well-being and the happiness of residents living within. The SNfH is a partnership between universities, local municipalities, city officials, non-profit organizations, businesses, faculty, staff and students. His work takes him to neighborhoods in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Guatemala and Denmark. He works closely with partners and residents to identify pressing sustainability issues and, through participatory processes, develops and applies culturally sensitive solutions that maximize opportunities for happiness.

Scott is the developer of the Sustainable Neighborhoods for Happiness Index (SNHI): a tool used to assess and compare how well individual cities, towns, neighborhoods and communities of any size embrace sustainable practices and how these practices translate to opportunities for residents to pursue happiness. He is also the founder of the Sustainable Neighborhoods for Happiness Research Consortium (sn4hrc). Prior to ;joining the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Scott served six years in the United States Navy, earned a Bachelors and Masters degree from the University of New Hampshire, his doctorate from Cornell University and spent a year at the University of Georgia as a postdoctoral researcher. His prior teaching experiences include engineering and sustainability courses at a charter high school and college level math, engineering, environmental science, sustainability, and community development courses both in a classroom and online format. He is constantly driven to shift the focus of sustainability to enhancing neighborhood well-being, resilience and opportunities for happiness through intentional design and retrofit.


  • PhD, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 2014
  • MS, Civil Engineering, University of New Hampshire, 2010
  • BS, Environmental Engineering, University of New Hampshire, 2008


Journal Articles


Berejnoi, E., N. Rodriguez, J. Martinez, C. Sykes, C. Haugerud and S. Cloutier. 2018. The cultivation of inner balance. Solutions 9(4):. (link )

Biel, B., D. LaScola, E. Berejnoi, S. Cloutier and J. D. MacFadyen. 2018. Does inclusivity really matter? The importance of diversity and inclusion in farm-based internship programs. Solutions 9(4):. (link )

Cloutier, S., E. Berejnoi, S. Russell, B. Morrison and A. Ross. 2018. Toward a holistic sustainable and happy neighborhood development assessment tool: A critical review of relevant literature. Ecological Indicators 89(Jun):139-149. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.01.055. (link )


Cloutier, S., A. Karner, H. L. Breetz, P. Toufani, N. C. Onat, S. Patel, S. N. Paralkar, E. Berejnoi, B. Morrison, J. T. Papenfuss, A. D. Briggs and C. Carlson. 2017. Measures of a sustainable commute as a predictor of happiness. Sustainability 9(7):1214. DOI: 10.3390/su9071214. (link )

Musikanski, L., S. Cloutier, E. Bejarano, D. Briggs, J. Colbert, G. Strasser and S. Russell. 2017. Happiness Index methodology. Journal of Social Change 9(1):4-31. DOI: 10.5590/JOSC.2017.09.1.02. (link )

Musikanski, L., S. Cloutier, E. Berejnoi, D. Briggs, J. Colbert, G. Strasser and S. Russell. 2017. Happiness Index methodology. Journal of Social Change 9(1):4-31. DOI: 10.5590/JOSC.2017.09.1.02. (link )

Musikanski, L., C. Polley, S. Cloutier, E. Berejnoi and J. Colbert. 2017. Happiness in communities: How neighborhoods, cities and states use subjective well-being matrics. Journal of Social Change 9(1):32-54. DOI: 10.5590/JOSC.2017.09.1.03. (link )


Larson, L. R., V. Jennings and S. A. Cloutier. 2016. Public parks and wellbeing in urban areas of the United States. PLOS One 11(4):e0153211. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153211. (link )

Pfeiffer, D. and S. Cloutier. 2016. Planning for happy neighborhoods. Journal of the American Planning Association 82(3):267-279. DOI: 10.1080/01944363.2016.1166347. (link )


Cloutier, S. 2015. In pursuit of happiness: Moving our communities toward a sustainable and happy future. The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context 11(3):29-40. (link )

Cloutier, S. and D. Pfeiffer. 2015. Sustainability through happiness: A framework for sustainable development. Sustainable Development 23(5):317-327. DOI: 10.1002/sd.1593. (link )


Cloutier, S., J. R. Jambeck and N. R. Scott. 2014. Application of the Sustainable Neighborhoods for Happiness Index to coastal cities in the United States. Ocean & Coastal Management 96(August):203-209. DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2014.02.017. (link )

Cloutier, S., J. Jambeck and N. Scott. 2014. The Sustainable Neighborhoods for Happiness Index (SNHI): A metric for assessing a community’s potential influence on residential happiness. Ecological Indicators 40(May):147-152. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2014.01.012. (link )

Cloutier, S., L. R. Larson and J. R. Jambeck. 2014. Are sustainable cities “happy” cities?: Associations between sustainable development and human well-being in urban areas of the United States. Environment, Development & Sustainability 16(3): 633-647. DOI: 10.1007/s10668-013-9499-0. (link )



Kraeger, P., S. Cloutier and C. Talmage eds. 2017. New Dimensions in Community Well-Being. Springer International Publishing. ISBN: 978-3-319-55407-5.

Book Chapters

In Press

Pfeiffer, D., A. Tziganuk, S. Cloutier, J. Colbert and G. Strasser. Realizing innovative senior housing practices in the U.S.. In: Anacker, K. B., M. T. Nguyen and D. P. Varady eds., The Routledge Handbook of Housing Policy and Planning. Routledge. ISBN: 9781138188433.


Berejnoi, E., R. Ulluwishewa, S. Cloutier, L. Gibbons, S. Puga, A. Uthumange and R. Phillips. 2019. Chapter 11. Spirituality: The missing link of sustainability and happiness as a framework for holistic development. Pp. 203-224 In: Kee, Y. and S. J. Lee eds., Perspectives on Community Well-Being. Springer International Publishing. ISBN: 978-3-030-15115-7.


Cloutier, S. and D. Pfeiffer. 2017. Happiness: An alternative objective for sustainable community development. Pp. 85-96 In: Phillips, R. and C. Wong eds., Handbook of Community Well-Being Research. Springer Netherlands. ISBN: 978-94-024-0876-8.

Prosser, P. and S. Cloutier. 2017. Chapter House: A vision for a sustainable future. Pp. 179-217 In: Kraeger, P., S. Cloutier and C. Talmage eds., New Dimensions in Community Well-Being. Springer International Publishing. ISBN: 978-3319554075.


Prosser, P., S. Patel, A. Slaymaker and S. Cloutier. 2016. Broadening opportunities for happiness with local knowledge. Pp. 209-229 In: Turvey, R. A., S. Kurissery and I. F. Pendea eds., Environmental Sustainability. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. Toronto, Canada. ISBN: 9781119361800.



Vanos, J. K., C. Cheng, S. Cloutier, P. J. Coseo, B. J. Grant, A. Hess, A. Ross and J. Labato. 2020. Microscale urban adaptations to mitigate heat and air pollution exposures and improve children’s health: An overview. Poster presented at the Twenty-second Annual CAP LTER All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, January 17, 2020, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )

Magazine Articles


Cloutier, S. 2014. Design for Happiness: The Ultimate Sustainability Solution. Slate. (link )

Pod Casts


Cloutier, S. Interview with Scott Cloutier. Here We Are Podcast. (link). mp3. (link )



Reber, T., A. Guttikonda, C. McCrone, N. Scott, J. Tester and S. Cloutier. 2013. Sustainable Communities for Revitalizing and Transforming New York. Cornell University. (link )

Thesis (PhD)


Cloutier, S. 2014. The Implications of Sustainable Development for Happy Neighborhoods. Cornell University. (link )