About the Planners Network

Planners Network is the organization of progressive planning.

Our members are professionals, activists, academics, and students involved in physical, social, economic, and environmental planning in urban and rural areas. We serve as a voice for social, economic, and environmental justice through planning.

It was established in 1975 in the U.S. during a period of urban renewal when many planning initiatives were displacing lower-income minority communities and a group of academics and practitioners were opposed to the role of planners within such initiatives and sought to promote alternative practices that worked to support those facing exclusion and displacement. There are eight local chapters in the U.S., three in Canada and one in Mexico, as well as individual members that extend as far as South Africa. The main website of the organization is www.plannersnetwork.org


NYC Conference Planning Committee

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Tom Angotti

Tom Angotti is Professor Emeritus of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He was the founder and director of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development.

Eve Baron

Eve Baron is the Chairperson of Pratt Institute’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment—an alliance of four graduate programs in City and Regional Planning; Historic Preservation, Sustainable Environmental Systems, and Urban Placemaking and Management. She is also an Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning, and a founding member of the Collective for Community, Culture and the Environment. She served as Director of the Municipal Art Society Planning Center from 2007-2010, where she coordinated the Campaign for Community-Based Planning, and was Senior Fellow for Planning and Policy at the Pratt Center for Community Development. She received a PhD in Urban Planning and Public Policy from the Bloustein School of Planning and Policy Development at Rutgers University. Her professional experience spans government, advocacy, technical assistance, and academia. Her career and teaching interests are in participatory planning; planning process; community-based planning; community development; civic infrastructure; participatory budgeting; equity-based planning; land use; low- cost housing; gentrification and displacement; experiential and service learning; and participatory action research. Much of her practice has focused on working with communities to create plans that respond to local needs, on getting people involved in decisions that impact their neighborhoods, and on advocating for a meaningful role for the public in planning decisions.


Jill Hamberg

Jill 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.

Courtney Knapp

Professor at Pratt


Jay Skardis

Jay studied multiculturalism, and lived abroad teaching English, before coming to New York City where she was exposed to the machinations of the real estate business, which propelled her towards progressive planning. She received her M.S. in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment this year. Her focus is in urban food planning and policy.

Arielle Lawson

Arielle is an Urban Planning Masters student at Hunter College. Almost two years ago she co-founded SPAN (Student Planning Action Network) to connect and mobilize urban planning students from across campuses in NYC. Within urban planning she has focus on community-based development, social/community anchor institutions and the broader solidarity economy as well as affordable housing. She has a background in nonprofit administration and organizing with a variety of community-based projects as well as many side projects and interests.


Laura Wolf-Powers

Laura Wolf-Powers is an associate professor of urban policy and planning at Hunter College CUNY. She is an  advisor to the Pratt Center for Community Development, which is working closely with the Gowanus Coalition for Neighborhood Justice to achieve progressive outcomes in the Gowanus neighborhood re-zoning.

Aishwarya Kulkarne

After completing Bachelors in Architecture from Sir J.J, College of Architecture in India, I am currently enrolled in the Graduate program of City and Regional Planning at Pratt Institute. I aim to combine planning with my design skills to create a physical, social and economic environment, which brings equity, access and enhancement to the quality of life of communities of various scales.

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