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Urban and Community Planning, MS

Overview

*Starting Fall 2023

Pratt’s accredited Urban and Community Planning (UCP) program gives students perspectives and skills to plan and implement equity-building improvements for neighborhoods, cities, and metropolitan areas. We teach participatory practice as the best way to advocate for just, equitable communities, with an emphasis on making transformative change through creativity, innovation and advocacy. Pratt’s MSUCP requires 50 credits. The schedule of classes allows students to enter in fall or spring*, and complete their studies in two years. To promote specialized or interdisciplinary study, half of the credits are in elective seminars and studios. Students are encouraged to take electives and interdisciplinary advanced studios from the three sister programs of the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment to customize a course of study that suits their academic and professional goals. 

*No spring intake Spring 2023

Internships

Virtually every student is assured an opportunity to take an internship, and four out of five students do so.

Studio Culture

All of the advanced planning studios are interdisciplinary, drawing students from other Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment (GCPE) programs: Sustainable Environmental Systems, Facilities Management, Historic Preservation, Urban Placemaking and Management, and Real Estate Practice. The studios tackle real planning challenges, often in connection with a project from the Pratt Center for Community Development or another advocacy organization.

Community Development and Participatory Planning

Students focus on planning with communities through asset-based approaches to strengthen healthy places and plan collective action to address disinvestment and displacement of jobs, people, and culture. They learn how to build equity, regulate land use with neighborhood quality of life in mind, develop affordable housing, strengthen businesses and retain jobs, and enhance urban environments through design and amenities. The program’s alliance with the Pratt Center for Community Development provides the underpinning for this specialization. For more information, visit www.prattcenter.net.

Physical Planning

Students become expert in the interplay among physical, environmental, social, cultural, and economic considerations in the production of viable physical development patterns for diverse neighborhoods. Students take courses in land use planning, transportation, and urban design that equip them with the theory, skills, and techniques to map and monitor physical development to highlight the differential impact of public policies on neighborhoods, and to develop viable design alternatives for diverse communities.

Placemaking and Alternative Transportation

Students become expert in the public realm from design, management, and programming points of view. In the past 10 years there has been a shift in thinking about planning and urban design, from a primary focus on buildings to a focus on the spaces between buildings—“public space.” Rather than allowing these spaces to be formed as an afterthought of building design, “Placemaking” sees the creation of successful public spaces as the starting point, which in turn dictates the siting and design of other components of the urban fabric. Placemaking approaches public space from a people perspective—based on community needs and programming. Specific areas of knowledge include complete streets, public plazas, parks and open space planning, green infrastructure, and place preservation.

Sustainability and Resiliency

Students become expert in the preservation and development of sustainable communities and problems of air, water, noise, and soil pollution, and the sitting of hazardous and solid waste transfer facilities in urban areas. The courses equip students with the analytical skills to evaluate the environmental impacts of infrastructure and construction projects, and to test the effectiveness of regulatory controls against the principles of environmental justice. Students become further expert in resiliency planning through consideration of the design, physical, social, economic, and infrastructure components of what creates a strong and resilient community, with focus on disaster and climate change.

Preservation Planning

Students become expert in real estate investment, the development process from project visioning to construction, and the management and ownership of property—as approached from a public/private partnership perspective. The program instills in students a commitment to real estate practice that advances the “three Es” of sustainability—economic development, social equity, and environmental stewardship—through public/private partnerships. Specific knowledge areas include affordable housing, green development and/or adaptive reuse and preservation-minded development.

Public-Purpose Real Estate Development

Students can gain the full range of knowledge associated with expertise in real estate development, but with an emphasis on green development, affordable housing, adaptive reuse, and public/private partnerships. (Refer to the Real Estate program for additional electives.)

Joint Degree in Law

Pratt Institute and Brooklyn Law School sponsor a pro­gram leading to the de­grees of Master of Science in City and Regional Planning and Juris Doctor (JD). (Refer to the earlier GCPE sec­­tion for more details.)


Chair
Eve Baron PhD
718.687.5641
ebaron@pratt.edu

Assistant to the Chair
Sandra Hetzel
718.399.4340
shetzel@pratt.edu

Office
718.399.4340
www.pratt.edu/planning

Faculty Bios
www.pratt.edu/city-and-regional-planning/faculty-and-staff

Plan of Study

Learning Outcomes

  • Students shall demonstrate both professional competency in the planning field and the ability to independently pursue original thinking and research.
  • Students shall demonstrate a foundational understanding of planning theory and values, especially participatory planning, urban conditions and trends, especially in the community planning context; equity and sustainability at multiple scales; and a balance of theory and practice, especially with regard to the use of ideas and information.
  • 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.
  • Students shall demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in planning practice, potentially with a concentration in community development, physical planning, urban sustainability, and historic preservation.
  • Students shall demonstrate collaborative skills, critical thinking, and an ability to lead in an interdisciplinary environment enabled through service learning opportunities.
  • Students shall exit Pratt as engaged professionals 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, full-time and part-time faculty are connected, enriched, and advanced in their professions through formal collaboration on service-oriented projects, research and publication.