Pratt Studios, 2012–2014

Pratt's city and regional planning program uses New York City as a classroom. Each student takes three studios with clients that are mostly community-based groups within the five-boroughs. My three studios, described below, allowed me to work as part of a team to exercise skills in a real life setting while learning from the residents who know their communities best. 

 

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Urban Design Studio - Broadway Triangle 
Professors Ron Shiffman and David Burney

Pratt Institute, Fall 2014

The Broadway triangle is a highly contested area of mostly vacant land that lies where Flushing, Union, and Broadway cross in a triangle in Southside Williamsburg. The triangle was historically a bustling manufacturing hub, with Pfizer at the center. However, with Pfizer leaving the area in 2007, and a rezoning from the city that has been labeled discriminatory in court, there are serious development concerns for affordable housing. At the current zoning, the city has determined that only about six-story buildings are allowed in the area, which shows a strong preference for the hasidic community. Our studio is charged with creating density. The city needs more housing, and with a unified and sustainable plan we hope to use urban design to envision possibilities for an equitable, sustainable, and affordable community in this unique intersection between three distinct neighborhoods

View our final presentation here


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Sustainable Communities Studio - Coney Island
Professors Eddie Bautista, Stu Pertz, and Ron Shiffman
Pratt Institute, Fall 2013

During the fall of 2013, we completed a semester-long studio in Coney Island with an unofficial client of tenant association leaders from various public housing developments on the peninsula. Coney Island’s preexisting issues of segregation, an inadequate sewer system, flooding, and poor transportation were only exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy’s impact. For the short-term concerns raised by residents at our community meeting—such as poor access to parks and inadequate youth services—we presented the community with information that could help with their immediate needs. For the long-term goal of comprehensive resiliency, we provided a plan for coalition building and advocacy for the needs of the Coney Island residents. 

We delivered a 182-page report with extensive existing conditions research as well as 21 recommendations for the community leaders ranging from short-term projects such as a better ability to reserve ball fields, to long-term goals of street redesign.

View our final presentation here. 


Fundamentals Studio - Churches United for Fair Housing (CUFFH) in Williamsburg
Professors Ayse Yonder, Eve Baron, Mercedes Narcisco, and Juan Camilo Osorio
Pratt Institute, Fall 2012

In the fall of 2012, I was part of a collaborative Pratt studio project with Churches United for Fair Housing (CUFFH), a local faith-based non-profit in South Williamsburg. Our central goal was to identify spaces owned by CUFFH's member churches that could potentially be used as affordable housing. Some of my duties included collecting and analyzing existing conditions data for the neighborhood, developing recommendations, and presenting our final report at a public meeting. Our end product was a set of easily understood and well-received recommendations and strategies that identified affordable housing opportunities, possible green infrastructure sites, and ways to spur economic growth.