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Economic and Community Development
Technical assistance, research and strategic collaboration to create livable neighborhoods and a stronger economy
Pratt Center works with community organizations in all five boroughs that seek to influence the shape of the local built environment. We help develop strategies for preserving and creating affordable housing, decent schools, desirable retail, accessible open space, transportation equity and authentic neighborhood character.
We help build consensus in diverse communities, and collaborate with residents, business owners, and other stakeholders to identify their needs and the tools--including zoning, historic preservation and economic investment--that will help them build the neighborhood they want to see.
Our community planning work involves a delicate balance. We must make sure that neighborhoods remain or become livable. Communities and their spaces must be strengthened and preserved, rather than displaced. But ultimately neighborhoods need development in order to provide housing, economic opportunity and much more. The Pratt Center advises groups on how to build livable, affordable, and sustainable neighborhoods.
Pratt Center's Community Planning services include:
We facilitate a process in which communities identify their needs and workable strategies for addressing them through the urban planning process.
Pratt Center staff hold workshops, testify at hearings, and speak at other public events and craft documents designed to inform local groups and officials about challenges and opportunities confronting their neighborhoods.
Planners collect data and generate reports, presentations, and maps to document neighborhood needs.
We provide recommendations for action and support advocacy efforts to advance them.
New York Industrial Retention Network
The New York Industrial Retention Network (NYIRN) is Pratt Center's body of economic development work that was initiated in 2010 when the Center consolidated with the non-profit organization NYIRN. NYIRN, the organization, was established in 1997 to strengthen New York City's manufacturing sector and promote sustainable development.
Over the years prior to the consolidation, NYIRN worked with more than 2,100 local businesses employing 93,000 people. In many instances, NYIRN’s intervention was a key factor in keeping companies and jobs in New York City. Its research and advocacy led to the creation of New York City's Industrial Business Zones, the establishment of funds to help secure and improve manufacturing space, and the growth of green manufacturing in the city.
Today, Pratt Center offers and supports:
- Business Services
- Green Manufacturing
- Policy Research and Advocacy
As new entrepreneurs making everything from salsa to shoes emerge alongside longstanding industrial businesses, Pratt Center helps companies big and small access the services, information and support they need to thrive. The manufacturers Pratt Center works with provide critical economic benefits to New York City, while benefiting themselves from their urban locations. Local manufacturers are indispensible partners to other industries, forging strong linkages within metropolitan economies and generating multiplier effects within and across the region.