Urban Placemaking and Management (UPM) program provides a professionally oriented education to a student body with diverse cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds. The UPM program focuses on participatory planning leading to successful and sustainable public spaces. The focus begins with community engagement, while stressing a multidisciplinary approach to the development, design and programming of public space.

The 40-credit program equips students to qualify for employment in a range of institutional, governmental, nonprofit, and private-sector settings. Students gain a broad theoretical knowledge of the historical, political, and social frameworks with which to conceptualize the public realm, while developing skills to analyze urban space and understand the relationship of public space to public policy and private development. Through studios and internships, students gain further practical understanding of the planning and design of public space, including management and the integration of the principles of sustainability into public-space development.


Reqt for MS in Urban Placemaking and Management

The core knowledge and skill-base of placemaking as a discipline, are delivered over four semesters through a combination of lectures, seminars, case studies, and studio-based exercises.

Students may choose elective courses from the broad range of those available in the UPM program, or from any of the other three programs within GCPE: City and Regional Planning; Historic Preservation; and Sustainable Environmental Systems. Students may also choose elective courses from GCPE sister programs: Construction Management; Facilities Management; and Real Estate Practice.

Classes are held in the evenings (most students hold internships or other positions during the day) at Higgins Hall on Pratt’s Brooklyn Campus. Students pursue a curriculum of study structured by four academic knowledge streams: Design and Infrastructure; Economics; Planning and Policy; and Management. The program offers flexibility to students to develop advanced knowledge and skills through electives in three areas of focus, each corresponding to an area of employment for placemakers:

  • Community-Based Design

  • Parks, Open Space, and Green Infrastructure

  • Transportation and Main Street Management

Graduates are equipped to effectively analyze, manage, and influence the complex process of public-realm design and management.


The UPM program uses New York City as its incubator, and also offers opportunities for study abroad. Current programs include Netherlands, Japan and Cuba.


Pratt enjoys a regular relationship with several civic and non-profit organizations with a citywide mission, representing over 30 positions altogether. These fellowships are associated with scholarships, and include the Center for Urban Pedagogy, Municipal Art Society, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, Pratt Center, and Project for Public Spaces. Pratt’s track record and connections are such that there are numerous other internship opportunities, which are also listed.


A. Students shall demonstrate both professional competency in the field of placemaking and the ability to independently pursue original thinking and research.

B. Students shall demonstrate a foundational understanding of

  • The history and theory of public space.
  • The professional disciplines and practices involved in creating and maintaining successful public space.
  • The balance of theory and practice, especially with regard to the use of ideas and information.

C. Students shall demonstrate technical proficiency consistent with the highest standards of the profession, including quantitative methods, qualitative methods, and written, oral and graphic communication skills.

D. Students shall demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in planning practice, potentially with a concentration in community development, physical planning, urban sustainability, and historic preservation.

E. Students shall demonstrate collaborative skills, critical thinking, and an ability to lead in an interdisciplinary environment.

F. Students shall exit Pratt as an engaged professional on the path to participate meaningfully in the field; help preserve the environment for generations to come; and foster inclusive planning and just cities.


Students have full access to courses in the other Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment (GCPE) aside from the UPM: City and Regional Planning, Sustainable Environmental Systems, Historic Preservation, and Construction / Facilities Management, in addition to courses at Brooklyn Law School. Students may go further, to pursue two GCPE graduate degrees (combining planning and sustainability, or planning and preservation, or planning and development) at considerable savings in credits, cost, and time. This enables students to graduate from Pratt doubly equipped and qualified. The same option (and savings) exists for a J.D. in law, in association with Brooklyn Law School.

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Visit the department at one of our upcoming Open Houses:

Tuesday, September 24, 5-6 PM, tour and discussion with current students, followed by meeting with program administrators from 6-7 PM

Tuesday, October 22, 5-6 PM, tour and discussion with current students, followed by meeting with program administrators from 6-7 PM

Meet in Higgins Hall North, Room 206, 61 St. James Place at the corner of Lafayette Avenue. RSVP with Sandra Hetzel, Assistant to the Chair, shetzel@pratt.edu.

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