Members

Amelia Amon is a solar designer with an aesthetic approach to integrating sustainable energy into our built environment. Her design studio, Alt. Technica, specializes in solar products and installations, including sculptural and architectural elements such as solar trackers, fountains, awnings, and dark-sky compliant solar LED lights. Products include battery chargers, user-friendly energy system components, solar freezer carts, and a solar Theremin. Solar interpretive exhibits are featured in numerous science museums and environmental centers. Policy work includes renewable energy advocacy and developing alternative energy resources for rural women in India. View Amelia’s Resume

Eve Baron is an urban planner and educator with fifteen years of New York City experience. She is the chair of Pratt Institute’s Graduate Programs for Planning and the Environment (GCPE). She has worked as a planner and policy analyst with the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, was the recent past Director of the Municipal Art Society Planning Center, and was Senior Fellow for Planning and Policy at the Pratt Center for Community Development. Eve served as Project Manager for the team engaged by LISC to conduct Community Visioning Workshops for the Mott Haven Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, and was the lead on affordable housing for the Zoning and Land Use for the Plan for Chinatown and Surrounding Areas.  View Eve’s Resume

Jen Becker is a public policy strategist with over fifteen years of experience developing programs to advance sustainable urban development, particularly around issues of green jobs, clean energy and manufacturing. Jen is the President of Eco-Strategies Consulting, Inc., a NYC/NYS Certified M/WBE. Before consulting, Jen served as the Chief Sustainability Manager for the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and as the Vice President of Clean Energy and Sustainability for the New York City EDC. Jen also worked for New York Industrial Retention Network, the Municipal Art Society and INFORM,Inc. View Jen’s Resume

Cathey Billian‘s public artworks, installations, park benches, and trail bridges, address our deepened perception of, and connection with, the natural environment. Projects/commissions include Yellowstone National Park’s Madison Museum, Prospect Park-Brooklyn, Liberty State Park-NJ, & NYC’s Whitney Museum Sculpture Court. A National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, permanent collections include the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, the Philadelphia and Brooklyn Museums, the National Park Service, and the collection of Al Gore. A Professor at Pratt Institute, she has led Interdisciplinary Environmental Design programs for Cooper Union, a Master’s course for University of the Arts, and a Design/Build course and commission for Acadia National Park.  View Cathey’s Resume

Leslie F. Boden provides planning, program, and policy strategies and services to cultivate engaged, healthy, and equitable communities and sustainable food systems. In work with not- for-profit organizations, associations, and government agencies, Leslie has developed community health, community development, food, and primary health care programs, from research and concept development through fundraising and implementation, and has influenced policies and interagency strategy. She has designed and led community and strategic planning efforts, and provides creative leadership in designing strategies and programs that reflect organization and community priorities. She has created strategic publications, training curricula, and capacity-building and educational tools. View Leslie’s Resume

Wendy Brawer  Sustainable Design, Mapping & Communications.  With 20 years of experience in community mapping, sustainability communications & map publication, Wendy is the founder and director of Green Map System, a locally-led mapping movement that has spread to 65 countries. Co-designer of award-winning icons, mapmaking & engagement resources, Wendy has managed organizing, grants and reporting while building the capacity of diverse municipalities, universities, tourism and community groups. Her NYC Green Maps chart green living, climate, energy, and youth resources. Formerly Designer in Residence at Smithsonian National Design Museum, she’s a connector. Wendy recently co-developed NYC’s first certified Net-Zero Passive House building.  View Wendy’s Resume

Meta Brunzema is a registered architect and urban designer and a faculty member at Pratt Institute. She founded the firm Meta Brunzema Architect P.C. in 1998. She seeks to creatively address cultural, environmental and spatial issues through a collaborative process that includes public agencies, private clients, and community groups. Her urban design experience includes waterfront projects, urban parks, promenades and green infrastructure – as well as large-scale zoning plans. Her architectural work focuses on socially progressive and climate-neutral design. View Meta’s Resume

Paula Luria Caplan is a professional urban planner with over twenty-five years’ experience in varied aspects of planning and economic development. She has worked in the public and private sectors and presently heads PLC Urban Planning & Policy, a consultancy providing services in land use planning, zoning, economic development, community relations, advocacy, environmental review, public policy and strategic planning. Prior to entering consulting practice, as Deputy Director of Planning and Development for the Bronx Borough President, she conducted major ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) analyses, supervised the office’s ULURP process and served as the Borough President’s liaison to the City Planning Commission  View Paula’s Resume

Jocelyne Chait is an urban planning consultant focusing on community-based planning and sustainable development. Jocelyne has worked with local and citywide organizations and institutions, as well as public agencies, on a number of planning initiatives and research projects; she brings a holistic, integrative approach to urban development. Much of Jocelyne’s work for the past twenty years has focused on planning under Section 197-a of the New York City Charter, both in terms of developing plans with local communities and promoting a citywide community planning agenda. She has also provided technical assistance to community boards and local communities responding to proposed rezonings and development plans.  View Jocelyne’s Resume

Devyani Guha is an Urban Planner with over 15 years experience in community based planning, affordable housing and health care, sustainability, and policy analysis and program development. She has provided technical assistance to numerous large and small local organizations and worked with governmental agencies and citywide and national organizations. From community involvement and needs assessments through program and project development and management with multiple stakeholders, she has assisted organizations and residents to articulate and realize their visions and raise funds through foundations and governmental agencies. She is also experienced in research, policy development and analysis.  View Devyani’s Resume

Jill Hamberg is an urban planner specializing in applied research, evaluation and policy analysis in the fields of housing, homelessness and community needs assessment. She has taught for decades at New York City area colleges, including nineteen years at Empire State College / SUNY, and she is now a Visiting Professor at Pratt Institute in the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment. She also worked at universities in Latin America for four years. She has significant experience in providing technical assistance to community-based organizations and prepared a research guide on community organizing.View Jill’s Resume

Eva Hanhardt is a planning consultant with 40 years of experience and a member of the planning faculty at Pratt Institute. Eva’s work has centered on community-based and environmental planning. She was a planner at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and the NYC Department of City Planning, where she authored the 1992 NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan and Zoning Text and the Hunter’s Point Special Mixed Use District. At the Municipal Art Society Planning Center, she managed the “ImagineNY” project, facilitating public participation in decisions about NYC’s recovery after 9/11  View Eva’s Resume

Mercedes Narciso is a registered architect and urban planner with over 20 years of experience in New York City. With extensive practice in community planning, Mercedes has assisted numerous local organizations in the coordination and preparation of community-based plans, analysis of rezoning actions and other environmental review processes, working closely with local stakeholders, institutions, city agencies and elected officials. She served as a Co-project Manager for the Plan for Chinatown and Surrounding Areas, developed by the Collective in partnership with Pratt Center for the Chinatown Working Group.  View Mercedes’ Resume

Ellen Neises is a registered landscape architect that teaches landscape design at the graduate school of design at the University of Pennsylvania and works on large-scale and large-scope design and policy problems involving land, water and development. Ellen’s design and research interests include climate adaptation, sustainability of high-yield production agriculture, regional and site planning strategies for industry, and community-based planning and design.  As an associate partner at James Corner Field Operations from 2002 to 2011, Ellen helped build an international practice and developed designs for a wide range of project types involving development strategy, complex water dynamics, ecological reclamation, and bold physical design. View Ellen’s Resume

Jina Porter is a planning consultant who has worked with urban and rural municipalities, community groups and non-profits and has facilitated multiple community engagement and visioning sessions. Her expertise in planning for disasters builds upon her thesis research on rural communities’ ability to mitigate the effects of natural disasters. Jina continues to work with the town of Woodbury Connecticut in an ongoing capacity to increase their resilience in the face of changing climate, disaster and emergency scenarios. Jina has been an advocate for disability rights for over 20 years and is a nationally certified American Sign Language – English interpreter with more than 15 years of experience.  View Jina’s Resume

Beth B. Rosenthal, MS is a social entrepreneur with over 30 years experience as a consultant to government, foundations and nonprofits. Her firm, Collaboration and Change, LLC, designs and manages large scale and single organization planning and change efforts, conducts research, needs/assets assessments and policy analysis, and improves nonprofit organizational and collaboration capacity through customized training and project development View Beth’s Resume

Margaret Seip (Peg) is an urban planner specializing in community-based development through participatory strategies. She has worked to build parks and playgrounds, affordable housing, and comprehensive neighborhood service networks, providing technical support as well as direct project management. From community involvement and fundraising through design and construction, she has helped to build the capacity of young people and community residents, grassroots and non-profit organizations to identify, articulate, and implement their plans.  View Peg’s Resume

Yvette Shiffman is an urban planning consultant with more than forty years experience in program development and management, technical assistance and policy analysis in the field of housing and community development. Ms. Shiffman has worked in city government and with non-profit organizations, focusing on developing housing for low- and moderate-income residents, including creating innovative programs for tenant-initiated cooperatives and supportive housing facilities for the homeless. She managed rehabilitation projects for vacant and occupied city-owned housing in Manhattan and the Bronx, including a program for the rehabilitation of 1600 units of vacant city-owned property which were conveyed to non-profit owners and another for the rehabilitation and cooperative conversion of over 300 apartments for existing tenants through a mutual housing model. In the last decade, Ms. Shiffman has served as pro bono consultant at UHAB, a non-profit housing organization providing technical assistance to tenant cooperatives and at Shared Interest, a non-profit that guarantees loans for micro-enterprises in South Africa. She also assisted in the development of Pratt Institute’s Recover, Adapt, Mitigate, Plan (RAMP) program after Super Storm Sandy, and participated in Pratt’s New York/Rotterdam exchange on Delta Cities. Ms. Shiffman has taught graduate courses on housing, community development and municipal budgeting and has been a Board Member and Secretary of the Salzburg Congress on Urban Planning and Development and a Board Member of New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn. She has a Master of Science in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute.  View Yvette’s Resume

Jaime Stein is an Academic, Sustainability Consultant and Urban Researcher with more than 10 years experience in advocating for sustainable communities through community engagement, sustainability planning and policy analysis. Ms. Stein’s experience lies in leadership and management roles within multi-stakeholder projects. She has successfully managed many multi-stakeholder, interdisciplinary projects wherein her leadership and communication skills have facilitated comprehensive and innovative deliverables.  View Jaime’s Resume

Evren Uzer is an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at School of Design Strategies, Parsons The New School for Design. She is also affiliated with University of Gothenburg (GU), School of Design and Crafts (HDK) in Sweden as a researcher. She co-founded a socially engaged art practice at the art collective roomservices. She recently completed a post-doctoral research project on heritage and activism at HDK. Her current research is related to ecologies of dissent, heritage activism, participatory methodologies and the right to housing issues.  View Evren’s Resume

Ayse Yonder is a tenured Professor of City Planning and former Chair of the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment at Pratt Institute. Her work focuses on community development, disasters and resiliency planning, informal settlements regularization, and the role of arts and culture in urban development with a focus on gender issues. She has worked for over 20 years with the Huairou Commission, an international network of grassroots women’s organizations, on policy advocacy, technical support and community engagement. In NYC, she has worked with community-based organizations through her studio courses and the Pratt Center for Community Development, and helped organize community-visioning sessions.  View Ayse’s Resume