|Silver - expired
|March 6, 2020
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy
|0.00 / 2.00
Academic Coordinator, MS in SES
Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment
Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:
Pratt Center for Community Development: ENERGYFIT NYC
Increasing energy savings and reducing carbon emissions in New York City’s one- to four-family homes.
With only 1.73% of all New York State retrofits through the Home Performance program occurring in NYC, Pratt Center for Community Development strongly believes that it is time for a New York City focused, small homes energy efficiency program, specifically designed for the building stock and homeowners that live here. This program must leverage the opportunities that arise from NYC’s unique 1-4 family homes and it must be designed to work for the low-and moderate-income families that live in and own them.
In January 2016, Pratt Center piloted EnergyFit NYC as a way to test program design features that we believe can have a transformative impact on the marketplace, namely a streamlined process coupled with a standardized package of energy efficiency measures developed for specific building types. This report presents recommendations cultivated from our learnings from the Pilot and our previous work in this sector including Retrofit Standardization and Retrofit Block by Block. The Pilot tested the Stan- dardized approach in 1- and 2-family, attached,gas-heated, masonry homes built before 1930, due to the prevalence of this type of typical New York City row house.
Pratt Center connected with 730 interested home- owners, conducted 414 intakes and 89 assessments and completed 32 retrofits within the first six months of 2016. Each home had the same package of work installed, which included:
Three-tiered air sealing and weatherstripping of the building
Air sealing and insulation of the roof hatch
Air sealing and insulation of the attic cavity
Health and safety fixes, as needed, up to $400 Based on this experience, Pratt Center’s recom- mendations for a successful NYC focused small homes retrofit program, with the particular needs of low- and moderate-income homeowners in mind, include:
Offer a Standard Package of retrofit measures Simplify the homeowner engagement process Elevate the importance of Health & Safety in pro- gram design and communication
Address additional barriers particular to moder- ate-income households
The EnergyFit NYC final report provides detailed insight into each of these recommendations.
Year-1 of the EnergyFit NYC Pilot was supported by the New York City Council.
Pratt Center for Community Development: CITY ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY REVIEW AND COMMUNITY IMPACTS
Evaluating how NYC measures indirect displacement risk to residents and businesses
To better understand how New York City evaluates residential and business displacement, Pratt Center undertook a step-by-step evaluation of the CEQR Technical Manual guidance on indirect displacement as well as a review of dozens of Environmental Impact Statements to see how this guidance has been applied over the past 15 years.
Zoning and land use decisions in New York City are managed through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), a city charter-mandated process that requires review by community boards, borough presidents, the City Planning Commission, the City Council and the Mayor. Every major land use action that goes through ULURP, including rezonings, must also go through the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) process to evaluate and disclose a project’s environmental impacts, most often in the form of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). While CEQR outlines the scope of environmental review, it does not provide the methodologies for how this analysis should be done. To fill this gap, in the early 1990s the City developed a Technical Manual that details specific methods for evaluating the various areas required for review, including residential and business displacement.
CEQR is intended to inform the public and those with decision-making authority under ULURP an understanding of a project’s effects. Most importantly, for projects that are deemed to have significant adverse impacts through CEQR, potential mitigation measures are required to be listed. Funding and implementing mitigation measures are not part of CEQR, but often are part of the final negotiations in ULURP. As a result, while the EISs - the long and technical outputs that are most often the culmination of CEQR - may seem perfunctory, they are in fact a key tool for decision-making, and in the case of displacement, the City’s sole vehicle to evaluating displacement risk.
As communities across the city face increased displacement pressure, more accurate evaluation tools are urgently needed. To better understand how the City, through CEQR, evaluates residential and business displacement, Pratt Center undertook a step-by-step evaluation of the Technical Manual guidance on indirect displacement as well as a review of dozens of EISs to see how this guidance has been applied over the past 15 years.
This research revealed a distressing finding: the Technical Manual’s displacement methodology is based on a series of unjustified assumptions, subjective determinations and circular logic that makes a positive finding of adverse impact, virtually impossible.
In 2018, Pratt Center released Flawed Findings Part 1, which details the inadequate way the City currently evaluates indirect residential displacement. In our companion report, Flawed Findings Part 2, we take a similar deep dive into the City’s approach to indirect business displacement, coming to the same conclusion: key steps to effectively evaluate and address displacement pressure, as well as a revamp of the City’s CEQR Technical Manual, are direly needed.
Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:
Pratt NYPIRG representatives and student members participated in a multi-year, broad coalition campaign to introduce New York State's Bag Waste Reduction Law (Environmental Conservation Law ECL Article 27, Title 28). Students participated in advocacy campaigns, raised awareness, and mobilized to petition and interact with their state representatives, culminating in the passage of the law, effective on March 1, 2020.
Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:
Pratt Institute Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment (GCPE) co-hosts the 2019 Planners Network Conference: Resisting Displacement and Dispossession
In cities throughout the nation and world, people are facing powerful economic and political forces that lead to evictions from their homes and displacement from their communities. In response, people are organizing, resisting, and developing their own plans and policies as alternatives. Join Planners Network as we explore strategies and affirm that another world is possible!
In support of various policy initiatives at the local and regional, national, and international levels, Pratt hosted a broad set of panels and discussions to further policy, organizing, planing, and other strategies to preserve the Right to the City, and showcased empowered, active community based organizations and partners fighting against displacement and dispossession, including through sustainable programming and development, and community-based climate adaptation and resiliency plans and policies.
Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:
Climate Strike participation and mobilization, September 2019. Groups organized by Pratt NYPIRG, Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment.
Pratt Institute hosts 2019 Conscious Cities Conference
The mission of the 2019 Conscious Cities Festival is to provide a four-day learning environment to explore how science-informed design can create a healthier, more inclusive city. Using a multidisciplinary approach grounded in principles of racial equity and social justice, the festival aims to facilitate dialogue among individuals, organizations, and institutions working towards common goals in efforts to spur collaborative and creative solutions for achieving just communities.
The 2019 Festival
Building on the conscious cities movement’s previous events, each day of the festival will tackle pressing issues facing today and the future’s urban population, grouped into four themes: Resilience, Families, Aging, and Mental Health.
Designers, community planners and organizers, advocates and activists, decision- and policy-makers, and behavioral scientists will present forward-thinking approaches to share knowledge in the week’s workshops and public lectures. We will be joined by representatives of New York’s City Hall and other city agencies interested in the latest innovation in planning and engagement with local communities, and how psychology and neuroscience can inform the design of our cities.
Hosted by our venue partner Pratt Institute, the festival will highlight how behavioural science and design can inform one another to better suit the needs of communities and individuals. Participants will co-develop human-centered measures of impact and promote political and economic arguments to sustain investment.
A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:
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