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PRATT CENTER FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

PRATT CENTER FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT


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Pratt Center works for a more equitable and sustainable city for all New Yorkers, by empowering low- and moderate-income communities to plan for and realize their futures.

 

Pratt Center was founded in 1963 when graduate planning students and faculty at Pratt Institute partnered with community organizations to address urban poverty by empowering local residents to participate in the official planning processes that affected their communities. Our work in central Brooklyn served as the model for Senator Robert F. Kennedy's project to create Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and develop safe, stable housing and economic opportunities in New York City and other urban areas throughout the country.

 

We built on this experience in the 1970s, fighting successfully to ensure that federal community development assistance was invested in poor neighborhoods amidst the fiscal crisis. As residents of the South Bronx, Harlem, central Brooklyn, and the Lower East Side faced a wave of disinvestment and arson, we launched an architectural practice that worked with neighborhood housing groups to reclaim their buildings. The Pratt Center's architects pioneered the conversion of abandoned tenement shells into safe and decent housing for residents who refused to leave.

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