Ronald Shiffman, a professor at Pratt Institute’s Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development, and the co-founder of the Pratt Center for Community Development, is the recent recipient of two significant awards. The American Planning Association’s 2013 Planning Pioneer Award recognizes his lifetime of achievement and leadership in and important contributions to the field of urban planning. The Rockefeller Foundation’s 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal was bestowed for his role in creating the model for community development corporations commonly used today and for his tireless pursuit of and belief in the power of community-based groups to change the makeup of New York City for the better.
During Shiffman’s 50 years as a city planner, he has provided program and organizational development assistance to community-based groups in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. His development of the model for community development corporations is a direct result of this groundbreaking work in the 1960s to rebuild Bedford-Stuyvesant through economic development programs. Trained as an architect and urban planner, Shiffman has had extensive experience bringing together private and public sector sponsors of housing and related community development projects. He recently co-convened a series of discussions at the Center for Architecture, “Freedom of Assembly: Public Space Today,” that addressed the right to public space and free speech, and he was lead editor on the resulting collection of essays, Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space (New Village Press, 2012).
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