Professor, Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment
Professor Ron Shiffman (B.S. Architecture '61, M.S. City and Regional Planning '66) is arguably one of Pratt's most revered professors. After getting two degrees at the Institute, Shiffman went on to co-found what is now known as the Pratt Center for Community Development a non-profit dedicated to empowering low and moderate-income communities in New York to plan for and realize their futures.
Shiffman has spent more than fifty years working to promote community-based activism and to assisting local groups to participate directly in the development of their neighborhoods. Thus, it was no surprise that after Superstorm Sandy hit the New York City area a year ago he was quickly enlisted to consult with both the government and community groups to help get people back on their feet, but also plan for future storms. Along with a team of Pratt professors within the Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development, Shiffman initiated an interdisciplinary suite of studios called RAMP, standing for recovery, adaptation, mitigation, and planning. The initial success of the program, including summer studios focused on Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood, allowed the team to win a grant of $120,000 from the Kresge Foundation for their work.
Shiffman was recently recognized with two national honors: the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership and the American Planning Association’s 2013 National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Pioneer.
Text and Production: Bay Brown
Video and Production: Peter Tannenbaum