So-Ra Baek

Assistant Professor
Department of Urban and Regional Planning

So-Ra Baek.


So-Ra Baek

231 Hayes Hall

(716) 829-3499



So Ra Baek is an urban planner whose research addresses the intersection of public health and the built environment. In particular she studies the role of race/ethnicity and acculturation in relation to physical activity and neighborhood design. 

Her dissertation research was a comparison of walking and physical activity behaviors between Korean immigrant and Caucasian women in King County, WA, and also explored the acculturation effect on physical activity/inactivity behaviors among the immigrant women. She was awarded the 2012-2013 Faculty Medal Award in June 2013 for her exceptionally advanced understanding in the discipline of design and planning through significant contributions in research or theoretical development. She completed her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Civil, Urban & Geosystem Engineering at Seoul National University in Korea. Baek earned her PhD in Urban Design and Planning from the University of Washington.


  • Baek, S., Raja, S., Attard, N. & Khojasteh, M. (2016). Acculturating into (In)active Commuting to School: Differences among Children of Foreign-born and US-born parents. Children, Youth and Environments, 26 (1): 37-55.
  • Baek, S., & Pusateri, M. Health and Immigration. In V.C. Copeland (Ed). (2016). Contemporary Issues in Education, Work, Communities, Health, and Immigration, Volume 3: Health and Wellness. Greenwood. 
  • Park, S., Choi, Y., Seo, H., Moudon, AV., Bae, C., & Baek, S. (2016). Physical Activity and the Built Environment in Residential Neighborhoods of Seoul and Seattle: An Empirical Study based on Housewives’ GPS Walking Data and Travel Diaries. Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering.
  • Baek, S., Moudon, AV., Saelens, BE., Kang, B., Hurvitz, PM., Park, S., & Bae, C. (2015) Comparisons of Physical Activity and Walking between Korean Immigrant and White Women in King County, WA. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. DOI :10.1007/s10903-015-0290-1.