Joan Byron

Neighborhoods First Fund for Community Based Planning
Program Director

Key Topics: Social justice in the built environment of cities, including equity in transportation, open space, and environmental quality, Disparate impacts of Hurricane Sandy in New York City communities, and equity challenges of recovery and resiliency, The Sheridan Expressway campaign and the reclamation of the Bronx River, Bus Rapid Transit as a transportation equity strategy, Inclusion of marginalized groups in planning of urban infrastructure and development.

Bio: Joan leads Pratt Center’s research and advocacy work on issues of social, economic, and environmental justice in New York City and beyond. Her current and recent projects include post-Sandy rebuilding and resilience; supporting the Fairness Coalition of Queens campaign for Flushing Meadows Corona Park; Pratt Center’s Transportation Equity atlas and campaign for a citywide Bus Rapid Transit network; support of the Bronx River Alliance’s work to restore the Bronx River and build an 8-mile greenway along its banks; and, with the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance, the campaign to replace the 1.25-mile Sheridan Expressway with waterfront housing and open space.

From 1989 through 2003, Joan directed the Pratt Center’s nonprofit architectural practice in the design and construction of over 2,000 units of affordable housing, as well as community health, child care, and cultural facilities.

Joan is a registered architect, and teaches in Pratt Institute’s Program for Sustainable Planning and Development. She holds a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and in 2012 was awarded a fellowship from the Urban and Regional Policy Program of the German Marshall Fund, for research on equity and the public realm in global cities. In 2013, Joan received the Paul Davidoff Award for Leadership in Housing and Equal Opportunity from the New York Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Selected Speaking Experience

  • Panel on Equity and Resiliency, RAMP [Recovery, Adaptation, Mitigation and Planning], a post-Sandy initiative of Pratt Institute Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development.
  • Presentation of Transportation Equity and Equitable Transit-Oriented Development, The Funders Network for Smart Growth, Los Angeles.
  • Plenary presentation on the Sheridan Expressway Campaign and Environmental Justice at Toward Carfree Cities VI, Bogotá.

Selected Writing