Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.27
Liaison Carolyn Shafer
Submission Date March 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

Pratt Institute
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.33 / 2.00 Adam Friedman
Executive Director
Pratt Center for Community Development
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:
***New York City Climate Exchange
Pratt Institute is a core partner in the New York City Climate Exchange, a new city initiative to develop a climate solutions hub on Governors Island in New York Bay. Pratt's President, Frances Bronet, is a Core Board Member.

The “New York Climate Exchange is a transformative vision for a first-in-the-nation climate research, education, and jobs hub on Governors Island that will create thousands of permanent jobs and $1 billion in economic impact for the city. This cross-sector consortium will create a state-of-the-art, $700-million, 400,000-square-foot campus dedicated to researching and developing innovative climate solutions that will be scaled across New York City and the world and that will equip New Yorkers to hold the green jobs of the future.

The Exchange brings together the extraordinary research and academic expertise of Georgia Tech, University of Washington, Pratt Institute, Stony
Brook, Pace, Columbia and Duke Universities with the business expertise of IBM, the Boston Consulting Group and others to dramatically expand research, teaching, learning, business and workforce development, and overall public policy around climate change. A major component of the plan is to research and prototype new technologies and methods which will be the basis for developing new zoning, building codes, legislation and regulations governing the built environment. For example, the Exchange will construct a 400,000 square foot mass timber office building, the first in New York City, and
use the diverse landscape of the island as a living laboratory to pilot potential construction technologies, which will then be used to revise the city’s building and construction regulations. Another major component is the development of curriculum, pedagogy and providing training to teachers around climate science nationwide.



Pratt has partnered with the NYC 2030 District, a national organization to reduce energy and carbon, and has developed a monthly Energy & Carbon Forum to discuss practical methods for energy and carbon reductions for the members, NYC building owners and operators.

Key Goal for the NYC 2030 District:
Introduce policy initiatives to demonstrate expanded community sustainability models through district-wide test sites for building code, zoning and regulatory revisions. Propose reforms to offer tax, zoning and land use incentives and to overcome obstacles toward construction of:

- high-performance sustainable buildings and facilities
- community microgrids and distributed energy networks
- cooperative sustainable development projects


Pratt's CoHousing Research Accelerator is developing and advocating policy to expand the measures that NYC considers as part of its Local Law 97 Sustainable Building Evaluation process. The proposed changes would create a more comprehensive assessment of the building's carbon emissions.

Pratt's Department of Interior Design is working with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygene to redesign school spaces in and adjacent to public schools to promote activity and other behaviors that could improve mental and physical health.


Pratt's Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment is partnering with community groups in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and the NYC Economic Development Corporation to create green supply chains and workforce development programs to support the expansion of the City's off-shore wind industry


Pratt Center is working with the NYC Housing Authority (NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) - NYC.gov) to develop two plans. NYCHA manages approximately 175,000 low and moderate income housing units which are home to an estimated 400,000 people, and is one of the city’s most important housing resources: NYCHA’s resiliency planning involves the identification of risks to its facilities and residents such as more extreme heat and rising sea level. NYCHA’s sustainability planning identifies immediate impediments to and opportunities for measures to reduce environmental impacts. This runs the gamut from how to increase recycling and waste sorting to greening their campuses.


Pratt Center is developing a new financing and implementation model to facilitate energy retrofits in small 1-4 family homes by combining the retrofits with other maintenance and safety measures such as asbestos removal. This initiative grows out of our EnergyFit program which developed a standard package of retrofit measures for small homes but found that the need for other home improvements was a barrier to energy improvements.


Pratt’s Made In NYC initiative works with 1,400 local manufacturers by helping them to upgrade their skills through workshops and other types of training. We have begun to develop programing that will include sustainable business practices and this past year did a workshop on “growing your own packaging” and will do workshops on sourcing sustainable materials and green marketing.


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.


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 Center for Community Development and SAVI (both are Provost Research Centers)are founding members of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance, which the Director, Adam Friedman, chairs. It is a network of more than 1,200 economic development professionals in 200 cities. Through the UMA, we have promoted a practice from the reuse of older industrial buildings to local sourcing.

Through primary data collection, thought-partnerships with leading national and local organizations and showcasing the work of our members and other practitioners, UMA seeks to better inform the public, policymakers and thought leaders around the current and growing manufacturing landscape in cities across the US and beyond.

A full list of Policy Reports, used to inform policymakers at the National scale can be found here:


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:
Pratt has been accredited by the United Nations Water Conference and is now organizing a 3-day series of events as part of the conference some of which may be at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan and other at Pratt's Brooklyn campus. Pratt's partners include Singapore University and Harvard and participants in Pratt events include the mayors of Rotterdam and Miami-Dade County, ministers from Singapore and Chile, and faculty from Tulane and University of Pennsylvania.

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:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
* The initiatives listed are in direct collaboration with NYC and NY State Agencies. The executive director, Adam Friedman is one Pratt's 3 registered lobbyists. The Pratt Center's initiatives with these local agencies, with support from Pratt's President, are a key driver for sustainable legislation and implementation in our area.




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