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Sustainable Communities Studio

Department: Planning
Community: Red Hook
Instructors: David Burney, Quilian Riano, Micaela Birmingham, Ron Shiffman
Spring:  2014

The general purpose of the Sustainable Communities Studio is to expose Pratt Planning and Environmental Management Students to the interrelationship of sustainable development to global, national, regional and local programs, policies and practices. Students are responsible for the development of a sustainable, resilient and responsive community neighborhood-based action plan, where economic, social, political and educational opportunities for area residents are maximized. The studio focuses on methods and techniques for analysis and design/planning of urban areas. Weekly assignments involve site visits, community meetings, the development and analysis of existing land use, health conditions, educational factors, building condition, environmental burdens/hazards, topography, transportation. Maps and data is used to study the constraints and opportunities for the development of a plan for the area.

RAMP and the Rockaways Studio
The studio was charged with addressing both the social justice needs of the community, along with its complex physical and environmental constraints. Based on the relationship established by RAMP with the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance the studio undertook an analysis of the peninsular in terms of its demographic and physical make-up, identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the community. The final report presents policy, design, planning and implementation strategies that will support a more sustainable community. Proposals address both the imminent threat of climate change to a coastal community, as well as structural issues around the need for better transit, education, economic opportunity and other aspects of environmental justice for the community. Proposals vary from low-tech low–cost interventions such as designated bike paths under the elevated A-train, to more far-reaching proposals such as a new Jamaica Bay Science and Resiliency Center.

Victor Coachman, Elisabetta DiStefano, Paola Duran, Kat Joseph, James Lloyd, Bryan Ross, Ted Seely, Ben Stark, Lynn Lai, and Jason Hernandez


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Elisabetta DiStefano


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Elisabetta DiStefano, Bryan Ross, and Jason Hernandez

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