City and Regional Planning

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PROGRAM MISSION

The mission of the Graduate City and Regional Planning Program is to provide a professionally-oriented practical education to a student body with diverse cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds. The CRP program focuses on participatory planning and sustainable, equitable communities, while stressing an interdisciplinary approach. Students graduate equipped with the knowledge of theory, technical capacity, collaborative skills, and critical thinking abilities necessary to plan for economic, environmental, and social justice in urban neighborhoods and regions.

Learning Objectives                                                                                                      

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

  1. Planning theory and values, especially participatory planning;
  2. Urban conditions and trends, especially in the community planning context;
  3. Equity and sustainability at multiple scales; and
  4. 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.

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.

The City and Regional Planning Program              

  1. Promotes independent and collaborative work on behalf of social and environmental justice, local communities, and innovative urbanism
  2. Employs leading practitioners to provide intellectual rigor and practical knowledge of the field.
  3. Utilizes studio and team learning to educate students to the importance of collaboration in an interdisciplinary proefssion.
  4. Provides full opportunity for focused, specialized or multi-disciplinary study and degrees.
  5. Creates urban and community leaders and activists at all levels of planning practice- from DIY action to metropolitan policy.                                                              

The City and Regional Planning Program is a part of the collaborative Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development. The program goes beyond contributing to Pratt’s pedagogic mission, to provide a focus for innovative and collaborative work on behalf of social and environmental justice, local communities, and innovative urbanism. At 50 years and 100 students, the CRP is among the oldest and largest graduate programs in the Institute.

The CRP is unique in its employment of leading practitioners in planning and related fields able to at once provide intellectual rigor and practical knowledge. These include executive directors and senior staff of community, civic and environmental organizations; top officials in City and State agencies; and leading consultants as well as developers committed to “the double bottom line.”

The CRP emphasizes team-oriented, interdisciplinary studio learning and requires students to take threes studios in the course of their study. In addition, students are required to complete a thesis or Demonstration of Professional Competence project, which may be a professional project report, a major publication, a film or other alternative format project. A core group fo seminars, totaling half of the 60 required credits, assures a high level of technical proficiency and planning knowledge that melds theory with practice.

After completing the core, students are free to pursue a generalist degree or to specialize in one of four planning concentrations. CRP offers students a broad array of courses. Students also have full access to courses in the other Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development: urban environmental systems management, historic preservation, and construction/facilities management as well as at Brooklyn Law School.

CRP students wishing to concentrate their studies can thereby choose to pursue focus areas in the following four areas:

  1. Community Development and Participatory Planning
  2. Physical Planning and Urban Design
  3. Sustainability
  4. Historic Preservation

New opportunities for interdisciplinary study are being developed in:

  1. Law, as it relates to urban sustainability and policy
  2. Placemaking and Transportation alternatives
  3. Community-minded real estate development
  4. Arts and social change

Students may also pursue two PSPD degrees at a considerable savings in credits, cost, and time. This enables students to graduate from Pratt doubly equipped and qualified. The same option exists for a J.D. in law, in association with Brooklyn Law School.

The CRP uses New York City as its incubator, though its growing international capability has resulted (since 2008) in courses and studios in Brazil, Denmark, Germany, India, Japan, and Turkey. The CRP has also offered nationally oriented courses in post-Katrina New Orleans and Los Angeles. We are now part of an international community of learning and activism.

Most CRP students gain professional experience and make a difference while attending Pratt. Studios tackle real problems on behalf of community clients. Courses are taught at night, and our practicing professors provide a wealth of contacts and references. The great majority of students obtain relevant internships and jobs at national organizations like Projects for Public Spaces, local civic organizations like the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, community organizations like El Puente, innovative public agencies like the NYC Department of Transportation, and private entities such as Jonathan Rose Companies. In particular the CRP is closely allied with the Pratt Center for Community Development, perhaps the nation's leading university-based activist and urban planning research organization, with as many as ten Fellows working at the center each year.

With these features, Pratt's CRP is distinguished as one of the nation's most practice-based, inter-disciplinary, and innovative planning programs. Planning is fast changing with higher expectations worldwide as to democratic processes, vast urbanization in some places while others "shrink," an abiding recession that argues for DIY creativity, the need to retool an aging infrastructure and the opportunity to do so in a "green" way, and new technologies that invite new approaches to participation and communications, data analysis and mapping. The program's embrace of creativity and activism is spurred by the facts that the CRP is in one of the nation's leading Schools of Architecture.