Pspd newsletter spring_2010


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Pspd newsletter spring_2010

  1. 1. multipliCITY Newsletter of the Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Issue 3, Spring 2010
  2. 2. WELCOME Looking Back to Look Forward Asia. In our own city, the planning vitality, and social justice – which emphasis is still on zoning and comprise our definition of sustain- large-scale projects, rather than on ability. New research in the de- livability and problem solving. The partment includes the sustainable architectural style – with its em- master plan for Long Island and phasis on form and technology – is work for a court-appointed moni- akin to brutalism with nice materi- tor fighting exclusionary zoning in als (glass instead of concrete). Westchester. In honor of the 50th anniversary, It is part of a 50 year continuum in and so as to explore this dichot- which we have, in my view, re- omy, students are publishing In- mained the most dynamic, mis- tractable Democracy with oversight sion-based, and innovative plan- Friends, faculty, and students: from Professors Eve Baron and Ron ning program in the City of New Shiffman. This publication takes York, and the most unique in the T he City and Regional Planning stock of where we have been, and nation. Here’s looking forward to Program turns 50 this year. it provides clues as to where we the next 50 years. Something happened 50 years ago are going. New and distinguished that is worth taking note of. alumni, current students, faculty, John Shapiro and ten of our eleven past chairs Chair, 2008 to Present It was the 1960s. Robert Moses provide articles that demonstrate and other master builders were at the breadth of our interests. To their peak. People like Paul Davi- order a copy, send a $20 check doff (who founded Hunter’s plan- made out to Pratt Institute with multipliCITY ning program), Ron Shiffman (who GCPE in the subject line – our Newsletter of the Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Issue 4, Summer 2010 founded the Pratt Center), and mailing address is at the back. Jane Jacobs (who has inspired generations of planners) took up This newsletter, multipliCity, is the good fight for communities that part of a larger story for the City were being run roughshod over. and Regional Planning Program Advocacy planning was one of a as it looks forward to the next series of social movements arguing 50 years. We have enriched our for change from stodgy politics and relationship with the Environmen- top-down misinformation. tal Sustainability Program, the Historic Preservation Program, Fifty years later and we are again and the Facilities/Construction in a period of reform. A community Management Program, and now organizer is president. Commis- enjoy a seamless relationship with sioner Sadik-Kahn has brought the Pratt Center. All of the studios alternative transportation to the cited in the newsletter, for exam- fore in our metropolis. The city is ple, were cross-disciplinary with enriched by a slew of community- students and faculty from at least based organizations, local devel- two of the programs, if not three. Cover: A mid-century photograph opment corporations, and civic In addition, two of the studios were of Pratt Institute’s Higgins Hall, organizations. And Jane Jacobs is in connection with Pratt Center which houses the School of Archi- everyone’s patron saint – including projects and priorities. All of the tecture and the PSPD (Courtesy many who don’t understand it. studios, and our courses in gen- Pratt Archives). That said, Robert Moses has been eral, emphasize community prob- lem-solving and bottom-up policy Above: Higgins Hall as it is today. rehabilitated and reincarnated in The summer 2010 issue will feature grand plans, most particularly in making to address the challenges of the environment, economic papers and speeches delivered at the 50th Anniversary Conference, which was held May 14-15. Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 1
  3. 3. A Green Light District for the Southside Global Perspectives: Fall 2009 Sustainable Development Studio International Approaches to Planning, Sustainability, Preservation & Design by Alex Sommer, CRP During their professional careers, planners and designers often have the opportunity to work in different countries, cultures, and contexts. The PSPD is happy to be able to ac- commodate and expand its inter- national course portfolio, providing unique experiences to its students and alumni, as well as students and professionals from the New York City metro area. In the last Southside Green Light District six months alone, the program has Community Wellness Plan conducted an intensive participa- tory planning studio in Goa, India Draft for Discussion by Beth Bingham, CRP tors (the Green Line). The Green and an exploratory seminar in December 17, 2009 Line functions much like the Pov- Sao Paulo, Brazil. This summer, I nAmabile //fall semester,/ students from the Bingham / DeBlieck /Epp Harari Houston Mahase / O’Connell / Vasquez erty Line in expanding a resident’s weare offering a seminar in Istan- Pratt’s Planning and ESM pro- right to know the overall quality bul, Turkey and a studio in Berlin, grams partnered with El Puente, a of their community conditions Germany, with more international Brooklyn-based community rights in contrast to others. The Green courses in upcoming semesters. institution, to develop the South- Line establishes the baseline upon side Green Light District Plan for which the success of the recom- As the PSPD formalizes its interna- the fall 2009 Sustainable Devel- mendations outlined by the Green tional course offerings, its faculty opment Studio (Plan 653-02). El Light District can be measured. is developing a strict pedagogy Puente came to the studio course, to ensure that curriculums and taught by Ron Shiffman, Mercedes Personal health, community participants adhere to Pratt’s policy Narcisso and Stuart Pertz, with health, and our planet’s health are of sustainability and participatory a vision for the Southside of Wil- all so intricately entwined that true planning. PSPD clearly recognizes liamsburg, Brooklyn that aspired to community development cannot the potential for conflict and is con- reduce the carbon footprint of the happen without considering these scious of the need to avoid intel- entire community, while creating a pieces in concert. The ambitious lectual colonialism when entering community standard for measuring goal of the Green Light District a community offering “help.” PSPD the wellness of the neighborhood. Plan is to dramatically enhance all only organizes courses in locations of these components of wellbeing to where faculty know a strong net- The resulting plan is a roadmap make the Southside the most sus- work of grassroots organizers and for creating a local demonstration tainable urban neighborhood in the educators, and where local actors project that responds to emerging country – physically, economically, have invited them in. local and national policy initiatives and socially – by the year 2020. and empowers the community by With a shrinking globe and interna- engaging every family and/or indi- As El Puente’s founder Luis Gar- tional issues hitting close to home, vidual in achieving the objectives of den Acosta put it, “This is an ex- planners and designers cannot El Puente’s Green Light District. periment, focusing on the develop- ignore the importance of gaining a ment of the entire community from global perspective.Pratt’s ethos of The new plan for the Southside a wellness perspective, home by ‘bottom-up’ planning and sustain- consists of two parts: a community home, building by building – en- able design meshes just as well wellness plan (the Green Light Dis- gaging the community inch by inch with community development here trict) and a strategy for developing in the Southside, and further.” in Brooklyn as it does in neighbor- community-level wellness indica- hoods around the world. Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 2
  4. 4. PSPD Goes International Sustainable Development Studio in Goa, India Above, the Pratt team is pictured with Goa College of Arhcitecture students and the Sarpanch of Agonda Panchayat Jovi Fernandes. At right, a student generated ownership map of the Panchayat of Agonda. by Meenakshi Varandani, AICP, LEED AP, for the Panchayats (local governments formed at the village level), to RA, Visiting Assistant Professor write their respective Development Plans. It identifies current challenges, growth projections, and sustainable development goals for the State of I n January 2010, the Panchayat of Agonda, in the southern Taluka of Canacona, India hosted a four- Goa. Constitutional Amendments intended to correct some ‘top-down’ governance practices empower the Panchayats with an assigned set of responsibilities that include proposing Development Plans for adoption. day Sustainable Development Par- ticipatory Planning Workshop Stu- As a poster child for ‘Incredible India,’ Goa is promoted as a tourism desti- dents from Pratt’s City & Regional nation. It is scenically situated between the Sahyadri Hills to the East and Planning and Environmental Sys- Arabian Sea to the West. With its coastal villages, paddy fields and hospita- tems management programs devel- ble people, it is seen as a place of happiness and celebration. Unfortunately, oped and facilitated this workshop Goa is also a victim of its own popularity. Infrastructure has not kept up with students from Goa College of with rampant development, and tourism has brought with it undesirable Architecture (GCA). The team re- social and environmental ills. This awareness figures strongly on resi- ceived consultation and support dents’ minds and gives them cause for alarm. In spite of limited resources from the Council for Social Justice and training, Panchayats have stepped up to take on their responsibilities. and Peace (CSJP) represented by Father Maverick Fernandes, and Students can be a resource for small communities and in return get valu- from Agonda Panchayat, represent- able practical experience. Pratt has a strong orientation towards com- ed by the Sarpanch (elected head of munity planning and sustainable development that lends itself well to a the Panchayat) Mr. Jovi Fernandes. grass-roots participatory process. Interaction with the local community was a meaningful experience. Working together in teams, the students Recent news in Goa has included also formed new international ties and gained cross-cultural appreciation. passionate debates on elements of the Regional Plan 2021 for Goa Agonda may be one of the first coastal villages to push back against (RP 2021) which was presented a speculative real estate market, which poses an ever-present threat in 2009 for public comment and to the village’s character and environment. Residents made clear adoption. These discussions re- at the onset that they are determined to protect their natural environ- veal strong sentiments and deep ment and maintain the place as a “village”. Talking about sustainability concerns about the implications and achieving a balance between environmental conservation, of proposed new developments in Goa. RP 2021 provides a platform (Continued on next page) Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 3
  5. 5. (Continued from previous page) New Course Spotlight social equity and economic develop- Transportation: Pedestrians & Bicycles ment was like preaching to the choir. by Michael Flynn & Andy Wiley-Schwartz, Visiting Assistant Professors To collaborate internationally, Pratt, In New York City, streets make up over a quar- GCA, CSJP and Agonda Panchayat ter of the land area and provide over three held five web-meetings between quarters of the publicly accessible open space. September and December of 2009. We all use them every day, whether walking to These were important for establish- the train or a store, riding the bus or a bike, ing a relationship and to ensure driving, or just hanging out. Nearly fifty years there would be no surprises for the ago, in The Death and Life of Great American community in Agonda. It also al- Cities, Jane Jacobs wrote, “Streets and their lowed the Pratt team to hear directly sidewalks, the main public places of a city, are from leading professionals in Goa. its most vital organs. Think of a city and what comes to mind? Its streets.” The Pratt team would gather at 7:00 a.m. in Brooklyn and a group However, in spite of the central role they play in Goa would stay late. Students in our lives, streets have received relatively researched sustainable develop- little attention in our society – from planners, academics, advocates, or ment practices on selected top- from the public. In the decades since Jacobs wrote those words, streets ics, shared their findings at the have come to be seen as conduits through which to funnel increasing workshop, and drew out people’s amounts of traffic and transportation. knowledge of their place, list- ing concerns and possible solu- After five decades of trying ceding over their street space to accommodate tions, leading to recommendations. the ever growing volumes of automobile traffic, U.S. cities have recently begun to discover the importance of more thoughtful street design. Cities The participatory workshop in it- are learning to shift priorities to emphasize safety, efficiency, sustainability self was a deliverable. Through and livability, and to appreciate the resulting economic, environmental, an interactive process, the stu- social and health benefits for residents. dent facilitators assisted Agonda to: have a shared understanding New York City has become a leader in this new movement to reimagine and a common ground, establish urban streets. In a few short years, New York has rolled out numerous in- a vision, and develop preliminary novative designs and programs, begun rebalancing street space, published recommendations for incorpora- detailed reports, and established an unprecedented set of street design tion into a Development Plan. The guidelines. New bike lanes and public spaces are popping up citywide, Development Plan will be prepared programs such as Bus Rapid Transit and the Plaza Program are emphasiz- by the Panchayat in the future. ing community-led planning, and designs are incorporating green features never before used in the city, such as for reducing stormwater runoff. CRP student Alex Sommer offered his reflections from the workshop. This fall, PSPD students had the opportunity to learn first-hand how to He said, “The studio was an ex- develop more walkable, bikeable streets as part of a 1-credit mini-course ample of how not only govern- on sustainable transportation. This course was led by two New York City ment officials, but also residents, practitioners who have been deeply involved in New York City’s pioneering are taking part in a new model efforts. Andy Wiley-Schwartz is an Assistant Commissioner for Planning & of participatory planning outside Sustainability at the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), of New York City. Stakehold- and Michael Flynn, a Pratt alumnus, has served at DOT for nearly five ers, with the help of the Pratt years, where he has planned, designed and implemented numerous plaza, team, are rethinking their roles bike lane, and safety projects. Both are co-authors of the recently released in the development process. No New York City Street Design Manual ( longer sitting on the sidelines, residents are practicing their In the course, students gained a holistic understanding of pedestrian and rights to not only develop a vi- bicycle planning, from key principles of safety, access, and public space sion for their community, but usage, to the details of design and data collection, to methods for measur- also guide and control develop- ing success. This course allowed students to give streets back their right- ment for generations to come.” ful place as our cities’ front yards and doing Jane Jacobs proud. Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 4
  6. 6. Taking a New Road on Coney Island Ave Fall 2009 Land Use Planning Studio by Jonathan Martin, Associate Professor Professor Jonathan Martin and Visiting Assistant Professor Alison I n September 2009, students Schneider and Georges Jacque- from the Pratt Institute’s Grad- mart of BFJ Plannings, Inc., with uate City and Regional Planning help from Rob Lane of the Regional program were charged with creat- Plan Association. The result was ing a conceptual plan for Coney Taking a New Road: A Conceptu- Island Avenue, between Cortelyou al Plan for Coney Island Avenue. Road and Prospect This plan en- Park, in Brooklyn. This plan envisions Coney Island visions Coney design. These recommendations The goal was to Island Avenue included: build upon com- Avenue as a multi-modal con- as a multi- munity resources nector rather than a thoroughfare; modal connec- 1. Facilitate Economic Develop- and strengths, and a vibrant commercial corridor tor rather than ment by supporting local busi- address identified a thoroughfare; nesses and providing opportuni- rather than a service road; a com- weaknesses. a vibrant com- ties for new businesses to develop munity meeting space rather mercial corri- along the corridor through the Students met with than a border; and a home for the dor rather than creation of an automobile repair the client, the many communities, cultures and a service road; and service vocational training Church Avenue a community center, a local business incuba- peoples that live in the area. Business Improve- meeting space tor, and expanded retail, mixed ment District (BID), rather than a use and commercial zoning. to identify goals of the conceptual border; and a home for the many plan, and undertook a compre- communities, cultures and peo- 2. Green the Corridor by provid- hensive analysis of the area’s his- ples that live in the area. ing street trees and plantings, a tory, demographics, transporta- landscaped center median, and tion options, land uses, zoning, With these visions in mind, stu- new open space in the form of urban design and economic con- dents made proposals for eco- “pocket parks” to create an invit- ditions. Students then worked nomic development, transporta- under the guidance of Associate tion, zoning, land use and urban (Continued on next page) Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 5
  7. 7. Greening the Construction and (Continued from previous page) Facilities Management Program EMS Coordinator Jaime Stein leads a discussion on sustainability in Constrution and Facilities Management. by Helen Rubinstein, EMS private sectors on how the Pratt Programs’ existing courses and T oday, nations, cities and busi- nesses are confronting the challenges posed by climate change. curriculum should be expanded, enhanced and/or modified to meet industry needs and to make our In NYC, for example, we know that graduates competitive in the new buildings account for 80% of green- “sustainable ” marketplace. -ing, more sustainable aesthetic house gas emissions and reducing along the corridor. our dependence on fossil fuels will The initiative was financed by a require new innovative planning, grant from the Fund for the Im- 3. Promote Traffic Calming development and management provement of Postsecondary Edu- through the use of traffic medians, strategies. Certainly the work done cation from the US Department of lane reconfigurations, on-street in the Construction and Facilities Education. The event was failiatated parking, bus bulb-outs, bollards Management (CM/FM) profes- by Professors Eva Hanhardt and and crosswalk pavers to create a sions will play a crucial role in the Carol Reznikoff, CM/FM Chair safer environment for pedestrians, development and implementation Harriet Markis, and Environmental promote walkability and provide of a new “green and sustainable” Systems Management Coordinator sufficient capacity for vehicular economy. Pratt Institute’s Facilities Jaime Stein, along with significant traffic. Managment program is committed input from graduate student, Helen to developing a “state of the art” Rubinstein. 4. Employ the Streetscape by curriculum that incorporates the rebuilding the streetwall, adopt- knowledge and tools that leaders in The event is part of a larger effort ing design standards for storefront the Facilities Management field feel on behalf of the Facilities Manage- design and signage, and installing are critical when addressing this ment department, and others, to street furniture to create a more challenge. incorporate sustainability into the hospitable and inviting environ- curriculum. Some proposed means For this reason, the Pratt CM/ to do so are: to keep up with trends ment for people and businesses. FM department held a roundtable in sustainable issues, raise knowl- event, called the “Greentable Dis- edge and understanding of green While each of the proposals above cussion,” on the subject of specific certifications and methods and best (and others in the Plan) address- educational and re-training needs practices, and also to encourage es a particular issue, they are not in the field of Facilities Manage- and increase FM student enroll- mutually exclusive. Plan success ment. On January 21, industry ment in PSPD electives. requires that these initiatives work professionals and Pratt faculty collectively to build an environment came together to discuss the skills The effort follows the growing trend that is more conducive to pedestri- that today’s graduates will need to of “greening the curriculum” in anism and successful business. be successful in the field. The goal various other educational institu- of this event was to solicit expert tions as well as by the International advice from both the public and Facilities Management Association (IFMA), which accredits the FM program. Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 6
  8. 8. Reviving Sacred Space: Preservation Students Contribute to Restoration of LES Synagogue by Michael Owen & Melissa Umberger, HP T he Eldridge Street Synagogue, constructed in 1887 on Eldrige Street in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, provided a compelling project for Historic Preservation students this year. Over the past 20 years, the syna- gogue has undergone a $20 mil- Photo courtesy of Tara Kelly lion restoration that replenished Photo by Kate Milford its splendor and intricate details. It will culminate this fall with the installation of a new stained glass window designed by artist Kiki Smith and Pratt Professor and architect Deborah Gans. At left, the Eldrige Street Synagugue on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. At right, a preliminary rendering of the Eldrige Street Synagugue’s new window design by Originally designed by Peter and artist Kiki Smith and Pratt Professor and architect Deborah Gans. Francis William Herter, the syna- tory should be preserved? How women’s gallery, paint program, gogue was one of the first con- should the missing rose window stained glass and lighting. During structed in the LES by Eastern be replaced? Should it be re- the second half of the project, the European Jews during the height placed? students researched architectural of immigration. Upon its comple- influences, creative examples of tion, the façade featured an amal- In 2009, Amy Stein-Milford, Depu- adaptive reuse, and preservation gamation of Moorish, Gothic and ty Director of the museum, cre- projects that make use of green Romanesque flourishes. ated an opportunity for graduate technology. By the mid 1930s, only a vestige students to work collaboratively on of this once thriving congregation designing a new architecture tour The final aspect of the restora- remained as Jewish immigrants of the synagogue with the goal of tion was the treatment of the rose relocated to the Upper West Side, addresing the preservation issues window. Following a painstaking the Bronx, and Queens. Addition- that the synagogue has faced in its review process, the decision was ally, a great rose window on the past and to convey to the public made to commission a new window east façade was lost and replaced the motivations behind the deci- that would incorporate pre-existing with glass brick sometime in the sions that were ultimately made. imagery from the synagogue. The 1940s. By the mid 1950s, due design by Kiki Smith and Deborah to diminishing funds and rising Tara Kelly, Project Director and Gans will reflect a new vision, one maintenance costs, the congrega- recent graduate of the Historic that suggests the museum’s move- tion shut the doors to the main Preservation program, worked ment forward, while demonstrat- sanctuary and began to practice in with HP students from Colum- ing its connection to its past. The a small chapel at the lower level. bia University, the University of museum is a center of learning for Pennsylvania, and Pratt Institute, new generations of visitors and is The recent renovations have left including Michael Owen, Me- very much alive today as it was the leadership of the Museum at gan Ricks, Catherine Stutts, and when it opened its doors in 1887. Eldridge Street with new challeng- Melissa Umberger. This team has es: How does a museum present spent the past year researching The launch of the new architec- a site to visitors while maintain- and interpreting physical elements tural tour will coincide with the ing a sense of the sacred for the of the synagogue such as the fa- installation of the east window in existing congregation? What çade, streetscape, sacred elements, early fall 2010. portions of the synagogue’s his- Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 7
  9. 9. COMMENTARY Smaller but Stronger Cities by Alan Mallach for the foreseeable future. Detroit more like a region in miniature, contains 40 square miles of vacant with nodes of high activity and ar- land and 35,000 to 40,000 vacant eas of little or no population in be- buildings. Almost half of the parcels tween. From a planning perspec- Photo courtesy Alan Mallach in Youngstown are vacant lots or tive, these cities’ land mass tends abandoned buildings. These cities to divide into three types of area: and their counterparts have large areas where scattered occupied • The core is the heart of the eco- houses sit amidst acres of vacant nomic city, the mixed-use area land and gaping, empty houses. which contains the central func- Many of the people who still live tions and most important eco- in these houses are elderly hom- nomic assets of the city such as I n the last couple of years, a ma- jor change has taken place in how planners have begun to think eowners, trapped by their poverty and by the reality that their house universities and medical centers. has, quite literally, no value. There • Neighborhood clusters are the about the old industrial cities of are eight census tracts in Buffalo – city’s predominately residential the nation’s Rust Belt like Cleve- where nearly 16,000 people lived in neighborhoods which still contain land, Detroit or Youngstown. For 2000 – where not a single home pur- a relatively intact urban fabric and one thing, we are paying them more chase mortgage was made in 2007. enough market activity to sustain attention; for another, we are start- them as vital functioning communi- ing to think about what long-term, This is not the total story. These ties, or to restore them to that status. sustained population and job loss cities have universities like Case really mean for a city, how to start Western Reserve or Carnegie-Mel- • Residual spaces are the re- making plans that reflect that real- lon, medical centers like the Cleve- maining areas within the city’s ity, and to ask whether a city can land Clinic, historic neighborhoods, boundaries, the spaces between be smaller and at the same time world-famous art museums, beau- the city’s core and its neighbor- stronger and more sustainable. tiful lakes and rivers. They have hood clusters, which are no lon- vital, thriving neighborhoods like ger sustainable as centers of either There is no question that these cities Allentown in Buffalo or Tremont population or economic activity. are shrinking. Detroit has gone from in Cleveland; they have many oth- nearly 1.9 million people in 1950 to er neighborhoods, though, where For the shrinking cities to find a barely 750,000 today. Cleveland, the fabric is fraying and the area sustainable future, they need to Buffalo, Gary, St. Louis and many is struggling against the forces of concentrate on using their assets others have all lost over half of their decline. Many of these neighbor- to build a new economy to replace peak population. This is not a short- hoods, like Buffalo’s West Side, the old industrial one, shoring up term blip, but a long-term trend, have dedicated citizens and organi- their still-vital neighborhoods, and reflecting the triple whammy of the zations like the West Side Commu- thinking about new ways of using national migration to the Sunbelt, nity Collaborative, who are fighting the residual land. In Detroit, Dayton the suburbanization of our metro to hold their ground and reclaim or Youngstown, that could be one- areas, and the deindustrialization of their community. Sadly, as the third or more of the city’s land area. cities that were once manufacturing foreclosure crisis and the recession What do you do with hundreds powerhouses. In most cases, these deepen, more such neighborhoods or thousands of acres of vacant cities’ loss of jobs and population is may be losing than gaining ground. land in a city that already has far still going on, not leveling off. What A city that rebuilds on the basis of more houses, stores, office build- does this mean for these cities? a far smaller population is likely ings and factories than it will need to look very different from what it for decades to come? Some of the They have huge amounts of vacant looked like 60 or 80 years ago. In- most exciting thinking going on in land and buildings for which no de- stead of the traditional continu- velopment use is likely to emerge ous urban fabric, it is likely to look (Continued on next page) Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 8
  10. 10. (Continued from previous page) talk about shrinking streets, and stronger is a radically new planning sewer and water lines, but a lot paradigm, a different way of look- these cities focuses on that ques- harder to do in reality. Reconfigur- ing at planning in a country where tion. Cleveland has started an ini- ing urban land is expensive. With we have traditionally assumed that tiative called Re-Imagining a More thousands of derelict properties in planning was about growth and Sustainable Cleveland – a part- need of demolition, and thousands where to put the houses, shop- nership of city government, uni- of sites contaminated by decades of ping centers and highways that the versities, CDCs, and foundations industrial use and urban pollution, growth machine demanded. For which have come together to think simply cleaning up abandoned ar- people practicing planning today, or creatively about the city’s vacant eas in Detroit or Buffalo may cost entering it over the next few years, land. With funds from a local foun- hundreds of millions of dollars. the opportunity to engage with this dation, the initiative recently gave Helping even a few dozen people issue is one of the most exciting community groups 56 mini-grants to move into more stable, livable and meaningful challenges on offer. to try different greening strategies neighborhoods could cost millions. on vacant parcels around the city, No one knows where that money Alan Mallach, senior fellow of the National from orchards and vineyards to is going to come from, just as – de- Housing Institute and the Brookings Insti- phytoremediation and stormwater spite talk about the green economy tute, is the author of many works on hous- management. In Detroit, people are and alternative energy sources – no ing and planning, including Bringing Build- looking at how to jumpstart urban one really knows how these cities ings Back and Building a Better Urban agriculture at a commercial scale. will be able to build new, sustain- Future: New Directions for Housing Policies able economic engines to offer their in Weak Market Cities. He served as direc- Planning is about people and re- residents decent jobs and incomes. tor of housing and economic development for sources, though, not just about Trenton, N.J. from 1990 to 1999. He joins the land uses. Cities are messy things. Nobody said it would be easy. The City & Regional Planning program to teach As they shrink, they do so irregular- idea that a city can grow smaller but a course on “Shrinking Cities” this summer. ly. People still live even in the most devastated sections of these cities. While some of them want to move, Planning and Preservation Students Visit Baltimore others, like the woman in the last house on an otherwise vacant block by Lauren Radin, HP in Detroit who told a reporter “I re- fuse to move unless the Lord says In March, Pratt’s City & Regional Planning so,” want to stay put. The days of and Historic Preservation students visited Bal- urban renewal, when government timore, a funky, historic and certainly one of a simply told people to get out, are kind mid-Atlantic city. The student organiza- Photo by Dorret on flickr long gone. Cities will have to make tions chose this destination because changes their case, and get their citizens on there over the last decade were of interest to board. It can be done; between 2002 both programs. The thrust of development has and 2005 Youngstown city officials, led to revitalization in urban planning, particu- larly on the waterfront, but it has still managed working with faculty and students Perlman Street, Baltimore. to maintain its historical roots. at Youngstown State, reached out to thousands of local residents as The visit began with a visit to Hampden, a John Waters-esque neighborhood known for its meat- they put together a plan based on loaf, beehives and all things 50s. We then took a walk through a more desolate neighborhood, the proposition that Youngstown which felt like a deserted downtown. The next day, we explores the neighborhood of Canton, was a smaller city, and that it had which is currently undergoing revitalization different than the inner harbor. It is next to the wa- to plan for that reality rather than terfront and has been able to maintain an industrial aesthetic of large warehouses with low den- for its one-time growth aspirations. sity row houses surrounded by an Olmstead-designed park. The unpretentious character of the neighborhood makes it attractive and it is easy to see how this could become the next victim of Resources are another problem. gentrification. Shrinking is fiscally painful. With fewer taxpayers and taxpaying By the end of the trip, we all agreed that it is easy to see how the recent changes in Baltimore properties, shrinking cities find came to fruition. With the advantage of being on the waterfront, developers chose to completely themselves in an increasingly tight re-create the inner harbor area in the most hygienic and family-friendly way. As you go farther fiscal bind, unable to provide decent inland, the tourist becomes scarce and abandoned buildings are abundant. Despite this, the city services for their citizens, let alone has pockets of renowned architecture and thriving areas. It will be interesting to see how this city invest in their future. It’s easy to fares in the future as its revitalization continues. Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 9
  11. 11. Pratt Takes it to the Streets Atlantic Yards Ground Breaking Ceremony Protest Photo by Ryan Cunningham Photo by Gigi Salomon At left, CRP student Janice Moynihan joins the protest with “Reverend Billy” Talen. At right, protestors hold signs depicting Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, among others. by Ryan Cunningham, CRP cluding protestors who gathered and affordable housing in the that day, as well as over 50 civic project through community On March 11, stallingwoes,to eral years of after sev- lawsuits and economic due groups, more then 7,000 peti- tion signers, and 4,000 regular housing group ACORN are no longer considered “valid” under donors to Develop Don’t De- the contract because ACORN developer Bruce Ratner broke stroy Brooklyn, an organization no longer exists. Third and ground on his $4.9 billion formed to oppose the develop- perhaps most important is the Atlantic Yards development in ment. use of government funding in Prospect Heights. If fully built, the project for the purposes of the new development will in- The general sentiment was best generating highly profitable rev- clude 19 residential towers, as expressed by the chants over- enues for the city’s wealthiest well as an arena (currently set heard at the protest: “Shame while displacing and destroying to open in 2012) that will house on you! Shame on you!” uttered an existing community. We see the Brooklyn Nets NBA team. to the passing dark Cadillacs, this happening all over NYC, so Ratner has employed the power BMWs, and Mercedes. That this comes as no surprise, but of eminent domain to take prop- sentiment captures the frustra- ultimately that doesn’t make it erty from neighborhood resi- tion and anger with this proj- right. dents and businesses for the ect, due to three main issues: development. First, eminent domain, used to The protestors that were preset- take (or steal) peoples’ homes nt aren’t against progress and I joined a group of neighbor- against their will, is normally development. However they are hood residents activists, and only applied for developments against the destroying of com- other Pratt students, to peace- that provide public uses and munities, the seizing of homes, fully protest the groundbreak- needs, not so that the govern- and the blatant ignoring of the ing ceremony for the “Soul of ment may take privateland and residents whose lives are being Brooklyn.” give it to a private developer for turned upside. Protestors would his/her own benefit. Second, welcome development, if it took There are several factors that the promises that the developer into account their thoughts, have united the opposition, in- made to provide low income feelings, desires and needs. Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 10
  12. 12. Eavesdropping on a Conversation with CLUI Director Matthew Coolidge can have access to it. Categories to search under include: trans- portation, water, cultural, in- dustrial, mining, waste, military, nuclear and R&D (or one can search by state or keyword). Coolidge spoke about specific genres of sights including; mili- tary training grounds, automo- Photo courtesy Matthew Coolidge bile test tracks, sunken villages, erosion, lines of site, and a proj- ect being done on our very own Hudson River (to name a few). In “Up River: Points of Interest on the Hudson from the Battery to Troy,” the cultures that reside Matthew Coolidge and the CUI travel the country in search of “unusual and exem- along the river are examined plary land use conditions.” (this work was also published in a book entitled Upriver). The by Marin Schloss, CRP to find “unusual and exemplary Hudson is rich in history, from land use conditions.” its early transportation uses and M atthew Coolidge, the found- er and director of the Cen- ter for Land Use Interpretation CLUI looks at land by character- artistic inspiration through to- day’s more modern and changing istics such as use, nodal point, uses. He pointed out the quar- (CLUI), has a passion for his zone and theme. An example is ried mountains along the river work that captivates a room. I the Gulf Coast and its oil cul- that, from one side, seem per- was lucky enough to be one of ture. CLUI’s research is often fectly whole, yet when seen from the “chosen few,” in this case 1 compiled into photo exhibits, on the other are gutted and barren of 12 students who were in- display at their base in Culver vited to sit in on an interview for City, California, and a variety Photographs by CLUI relay im- BOMB magazine while Debora of mobile units. They put to- ages of our country; from un- Gans, architect and Pratt profes- gether educational bus tours, touched to completely abused sor, interviewed Mr. Coolidge. for “hands on proximity,” of our sites, everything is laid bare and BOMB magazine, a quarterly nation’s deserts, waterways, and is used as a vehicle for thought. publication that cuts out the cities, and other unusual spots The images allow us to look at middle man and publishes such as the Los Angeles garbage our own country, and see how “conversations” between visual dump. Coolidge noted that the we have choosen to develope artists, writers, composers, di- tours to the dump fill up very our land. CLUI’s projects and rectors and architects (and other quickly, which he attributes to imagery are objective, and by no creative professionals), recorded the, “human psyche’s Freudian- means do they wish to direct or this interview that will be avail- esque attraction to its waste persuade thoughts- just facilitate able for all to hear (on their products.” He commented that and encourage them. website) and read. Their interest people don’t usually think about in CLUI is understandable - the boring places, thus the reason Thank you to Matthew Coolidge organization does fascinating they’re boring, until we actually and the Center for Land Use work. Matthew and his team use explore them. The research done Interpretation, BOMB magazine the United States as their play- at CLUI is stored in a database and Deborah Gans. ground, navigating the country on their website so the public Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 11
  13. 13. Class Notes JOAN BYRON of the Pratt Center SIGNE NIELSEN, a professor at RON SHIFFMAN, received the 2009 Civic Lead- Pratt and one of the founding a board member ership award from the Rudin principles at Matthews Nielsen to the Center Center for Transportation Policy. Landscape Architecture firm, for Living Cities, Mrs. Byron recently spoke on was recently named part of the has an essay, a panel at Wagner: NYU called, West 8 team for the recently entitled “Beyond “State of the City 2010: Trans- commissioned Governors Island Green Jobs to portation Access for the Under- Master Pan. The City and the Green Economic served and Underrepresented.” State together released the Gov- Development This year’s State of the City ernors Island Park and Public and Qualitative event brought many different Space Master Plan, a compre- Sustainable Development: Seek- voices to the table from City of- hensive design for 87 acres of ing a New Paradigm,” in What We ficials, agencies and advocacy open green space, rejuvenating See: Advancing the Observations groups to highlight transporta- existing landscapes in the Na- of Jane Jacobs, a recently pub- tion access issues facing the un- tional Historic District, trans- lished collection of original essays derserved and underrepresented forming the southern half of by leading thinkers that honors in New York City. the island, and creating a 2.2 the late Jane Jacobs. The book mile Great Promenade along the is a timely reflection of renowned waterfront. Matthews Nielsen urbanist-activist Jane Jacobs GITA NANDAN principle of expect to begin the next phase life’s work. Ron was also quoted thread collective along with part- of their design work in mid- in the New York Times article ner Elliott Maltby- Recently won summer. In addition, Matthews “Despite Much Rezoning, Scant the prestigious New York State Nielsen’s proposals for Hunts Change in Residential Capac- Council for the Arts, Architecture Point Landing and West Point ity” by Kareem Fahim published Planning + Design award. The Foundry Preserve have been se- on March 21, 2010. In addition, NYSCA funding will support the lected as “pilots” to test the Sus- Professor Shiffman participated realization of a master plan and tainable Sites Initiative, ASLA’s in the Residential, Commer- schematic designs for the Added answer to LEED for site design. cial, Institutional and Industrial Value farm and construction of Signe was also a panelist on Buildings sector Technical Work the Red Hook Center for Sus- the April 18th “On the Water’s Group for the Climate Action Plan tainability and Culture. Edge: NYC Waterfront” at the process for New York City. Please ASLA. On April 27th Signe was visit the website at www.nycli- on a panel for the official release for additional in- Graphic courtesy of thread collective [plants] of the Sustainable Site Design formation. On May 6th Shiffman Manual and discuss its relevance will be the Keynote speaker for + + [five borough farm] + + to the Green Codes Initiative of the Salzburg Congress on Urban + + + the Mayor’s Office of Sustainable Planning and Development in [people] [added value] + + + Design. She will also be speak- Austria, lecturing on “Beyond the + + + ing on another panel on May 3 Urban Myth of the Post-Industrial + + [places] called, “Architecture, Art and City.” + Landscape,” discussing whether lines are blurring among these Faculty, Students and disciplines (to be held at the AIA Alumni: Please stay in touch, Center for Architecture). and tell us what you’re doing these days! E-mail anything and everything to Lacey Tauber at: Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 12
  14. 14. SPOTLIGHT Award Kate Zidar Recipients PLANNING CONVOCATION AWARDS DEPARTMENTAL PLANNING AWARDS American Institute of Certified Community-Planning Award: Planners Outstanding Student ALLISON RICHARDS Award: ELLYSON GOETZ Commitment to Environment American Planning Association Planning Award: Metro Chapter Outstanding NATASHA DWYER Student Award: ANUSHA VENKATARAMAN CRP First-Year Outstanding Student Award: Commitment to the Profession ALEXIS ROURK Award: ALISON SCHNEIDER WILLIAM CABRESE An EMS professor who started the TOKUNBO ANIFALAJE North Brooklyn Compost Project, Outstanding Merit Award: which is now in its 6th year, has tak- MOLLY SLEVIN EMS First-Year Outstanding en on a very large project: NYC’s com- Student Award: bined sewer overflows (CSOs). Kate Excellence in Academic TYLER CARUSO Zidar helped to develop Minds in the Gutter, an open design call for sub- Achievement Award: missions of ideas for managing storm- JAMES CARRINGTON HP First-Year Outstanding water runoff from NYC roadways and Student Award: sidewalks. The project explored what ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS SEAN MICHAEL CONWAY agencies and individuals are thinking MANAGEMENT CONVOCATION about and working on with regards AWARDS HISTORIC PRESERVATION to better managing urban runoff. The first viewing of the Minds in the Gut- Outstanding Merit Award: CONVOCATION AWARDS ter designs took place on Earth Day at DIANA HARARI CHEREM Outstanding Merit Award: the Museum of the City of New York. MELISSA A. UMBERGER Deborah Marton, Executive Director Excellence in Academic of the Design Trust for Public Space, Achievement Award: moderated a panel discussion about Excellence in Academic MEGAN HOUSTON Achievement Award: the submissions, featuring some of the competition’s jurors, exhibiting MEGAN E. RICKS designers and representatives of the S.W.I.M. Coalition. At Pratt this sum- mer, Kate is teaching a Design/Build Pratt Green Week 2010 course that will be a direct follow-up Sustainable Pratt hosted a series of exhibitions, to the Minds in the Gutter exhibit. Students will work with Kate to review films, forums, and lectures as part of its fourth an- the winning designs, research loca- nual Green Week from March 29 to April 3, 2010. tions for implementation, and work All Green Week events took place on the Brooklyn through the regulatory and permitting Campus and were free and open to the public. For processes to get the designs in the the complete Green Week 2010 schedule, please ground. Professor Zidar is also lead- visit Sustainable Pratt ing the site selection on a US Forest is an organization of Pratt’s faculty, administra- Service grant with Newtown Creek Al- tion, and student body that works to integrate liance, Riverkeeper and Gaia Institute sustainability into the Institute’s curricula, opera- to locate a green infrastructure capi- tions, and programs. Sustainable Pratt and Green tal project within the Newtown Creek Week 2010 are co-chaired by Interior Design Pro- drainage area. fessors Carol Crawford and Tetsu Ohara. Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 13
  15. 15. Attention Alumni! Thesis Library The Pratt Planning Alumni Mailing List The City and Regional Planning Association is Revived! The Pratt Institute Planning Stu- Program is transferring all alumni dent Association (PIPSA) is put- theses to the Pratt Library, and Under the leadership of two ting together an active directory of many are missing! If you still have alumni, Alison Cordero and all PSPD graduates. a copy, please send it and a one- Nancy Campbell, the associa- paragraph summary to: tion kick started its membership If you’re an alum, please send drive at the department’s 50th your name and e-mail address to: electronic (preferred): Anniversary party on May 14. The role of the association will be tri-fold. The first is to strengthen If you know an alum, please do us via mail: Pratt Planning and PSPD net- the favor of forwarding this news- Lacey Tauber works through the generations. letter to your friend or colleague. Assistant to the Chair The second is to work with the There are presently e-mail records PSPD, Pratt Institute Pratt Institute Planning Student for only 10% of our alumni! 200 Willoughby Avenue Association (PIPSA) to connect Brooklyn, New York 11205 current and past students to job and internship opportunities as We are creating two collections of well as mentorship. The third theses. Paper copies will be pro- is to raise funds for the program duced, bound and available at the to recruit and support students Pratt Library. Electronic copies of all backgrounds – economic, will be available at the PSPD of- geographic, ethnic, and racial. To fices: Higgins Hall, 61 St. James get involved with the Alumni As- Programs for Sustainable Place (Room 206). sociation or to receive updates on its activities, please e-mail: Planning and Development Pratt Institute Mentorship Program 200 Willoughby Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11205 Have you considered becoming a Donations most welcome. mentor in your field? Feel free to indicate how you would like the money spent: The Pratt Career Services office Eric Allison maintains an online mentorship 1. General use. Historic Preservation system that students and alumni 2. Paid interns at the Pratt can use to get in touch about Center for Community career-related questions and op- Harriet Markis Development, The Municipal portunities. Art Society, the New York In- Facilities Management Don’t think you have the time? dustrial Retention Network, The program offers flexible levels and other civic and commu- of involvement. You can determine nity organizations. John Shapiro, Chair the number of contacts you want City and Regional Planning 3. For $20, order a copy of In- per month or even advise solely tractable Democracy, cel- via email. Plus, you can opt out of the system when you need to and ebrating 50 years of Pratt Jaime Stein then return later. planning. Environmental Policy Make checks payable to Pratt and Sustainability To register, go to: Institute with GCPE in subject. Newsletter design, editing and reporting by Tyler Caruso Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development Spring 2010 | 14