News from Pratt Center: October 2021
IN THIS ISSUE
1. Intensifying flash floods increase urgency to regulate basements
2. NYCHA Releases Sustainability Agenda & Climate Adaptation Plan
3. We’re hiring
4. Pratt Center In the News
5. Meet the 2021–2022 Graduate Fellows
6. What We're Reading
1. INTENSIFYING FLASH FLOODS INCREASE URGENCY TO REGULATE BASEMENT APARTMENTS
For much of September, the news of 11 New Yorkers who drowned in flooded basement apartments garnered the attention of local and national media. In the days after Hurricane Ida, members of the BASE (Basement Apartments Safe for Everyone) campaign fielded a flurry of calls from reporters wanting to know more about basement dwellings in NYC. Two months after the storm, we revisit how the City responded and highlight some of the key developments that have emerged. Read the full round-up→
In Case You Missed It
Last week, we released “New York’s Housing Underground: 13 Years Later,” which shows the need for basement legalization pathways is most critical in low-income, immigrant, communities of color.
Pratt Center’s Rebekah Morris presented testimony to New York State legislators on proposed Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) legislation that would help remove multiple barriers to basement conversions in the NYC zoning and building code.
2. NYCHA RELEASES SUSTAINABILITY AGENDA AND CLIMATE ADAPTATION PLAN
This year Pratt Center worked with NYCHA to build and facilitate a Climate Action Network (CAN), which aimed to provide a space for residents to share their input and knowledge with NYCHA as their Sustainability & Energy and Resilience & Recovery teams planned for the next iteration of the Sustainability Agenda (released in September) and their first ever Climate Adaptation Plan. Read more about the Network→
In addition to facilitating the resident network, Pratt Center also collaborated with Yeju Choi of Nowhere Office on the design of the Climate Adaptation Plan and a companion document which reflects on NYCHA’s Sandy recovery work, both of which were released in October.
Flood Resilience at NYCHA: Memorializing Lessons Learned from the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Recovery Program is a reflection on NYCHA’s Sandy recovery work that is meant to inform future coastal protection at NYCHA developments and beyond.
Climate Change at NYCHA: A Plan to Adapt builds on the almost $3 billion investment in resilience at NYCHA developments affected by Hurricane Sandy by looking ahead and laying out a set of strategies that will help NYCHA prepare for ongoing climate hazards.
3. OUR TEAM IS EXPANDING
Come join our tight-knit team of community-based city planners, urban policy wonks and environmental advocates as we work for a more equitable, sustainable NYC.
4. PRATT CENTER IN THE NEWS
- Pratt Center’s Rebekah Morris spoke with NPR’s All Things Considered about Basement Apartments in NYC.
- NYC Funded a Pilot to Make Basement Apartments Safer, But Then It Went Off Track. Next City’s Roshan Abraham spoke with Pratt Center about the East New York Basement Pilot program, which has suffered from understaffing and defunding.
- Made in NYC Week Reimagines the Future of Local Manufacturing Pratt Institute wrote about Pratt Center’s 4th annual Made in NYC Week celebration.
5. MEET THE 2021–2022 GRADUATE FELLOWS
Pratt Center welcomed nine Graduate Fellows to our team this fall to work alongside staff members on a variety of planning, policy and organizational development projects. Read Fellow Bios
6. WHAT WE’RE READING
Measuring Flood Risk in New York City Housing and Basements (RPA)
Approximately 180,000 small residential buildings in New York City remain vulnerable to high-intensity rainfall flooding.
The Rich Breathe Easier Than the Poor (Jacobin)
A new study shows that disparities in pulmonary health between the rich and poor have been widening for six decades, setting the stage for vastly unequal, devastating outcomes during the pandemic. The rich quite literally breathe easier than the rest of us.
City moves to limit new hotel development (Crain’s New York)
On October 20, the City Planning Commission approved the requirement for special permits for hotels which Pratt Center supported. The controversial proposal heads next to the City Council
3 Years After Bronx Rezoning, Jerome Avenue Auto Shops Under Pressure (City Limits)
City officials committed $1.5 million in financial assistance for Jerome Ave merchants, intended to help relocate displaced businesses. But officials have yet to issue any such grants.
SIGN UP TO RECEIVE ALL THE LATEST PRATT CENTER NEWS IN YOUR INBOX