Lucie Laurian studies the effects of toxic sites on local populations and the participation of citizens in environmental planning decision-making processes. Some of her previous research, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, focused on the effects of Superfund sites on the communities surrounding them. She now works on the evaluation of Community Advisory Boards as participatory mechanisms used for the cleanup of toxic sites.
Since 1998, she has been involved in a New Zealand-based research project on environmental planning processes. The project, titled "Planning Under a Cooperative Mandate," focuses on the implementation of local environmental plans with regard to water quality, urban design, and citizen participation in the planning process. Dr. Laurian is involved in research about the interactions between the planning and public health disciplines. She teaches a "Healthy Cities" class focused on environmental planning and health.