Building Together

Case Studies in Participatory Planning and Community Building

With Ronald Shiffman
Foreword by Dore Ashton, Kenneth Reardon

"To transform their good intentions into tangible results in neighborhoods jittery over gentrification, the mayor and his planners should read Building Together: Case Studies in Participatory Planning and Community Building." - Sam Roberts, The New York Times

With case studies of neighborhood developments from North and South America, Europe, and Africa that span forty years, Building Together offers a seminal treatise on the community-based design practices of participatory planning and advocacy architecture. The authors describe the challenges, opportunities, and rewards of grassroots collaboration through vivid personal accounts chosen for their practical lessons. Their case studies range in scale from regional urban planning to smaller architectural projects, and geographically from Harlem, Greenpoint, and the greater New York Metropolitan region to sites in coastal Colombia, southern France, and Burkina Faso, Africa.

Building Together is designed to appeal to a diverse audience of community development specialists, faculty and students of planning, architecture, community health, and the social sciences, practicing professionals and decisionmakers in economic development, and community-based organizations.

About the Authors:

Roger Katan has been an indispensable figure in urban planning as an advocate of participatory
democracy. Ron Shiffman is a legend in New York, advocating for equity and socially responsible
design. Together they have written the book on how to build a more humane and healthy city.
Michael Kimmelman, author, columnist, and architecture critic for the New York Times

Roger Katan: Roger Katan is a French American architect, artist, and educator known as a proponent of the community-based design practices of participatory architecture and advocacy planning. He has been a university instructor, international consultant, lecturer, activist, and author on the subject.

Ron Shiffman: Ron Shiffman is the former director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, which he cofounded in 1964. He is emeritus professor at Pratt's Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment.


Title Building Together
Subtitle Case Studies in Participatory Planning and Community Building
Author Roger Katan
BISAC Subject Heading ARC000000 ARCHITECTURE
ARC010000 ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning
Audience 01 General / trade
Credit Roger Katan and Ronald Shiffman
Title First Published 22 October 2014
Includes Index; Appendices; Indices
Format Paperback
Nb of pages 320 p. Index . Appendices . Indices .
Product Detail Trade paperback (US)
ISBN-10 1613320167
ISBN-13 9781613320167
Publication Date 07 October 2014
Publication New York, United States
Product Content Text (eye-readable), Photographs, Figures, diagrams, charts, graphs
Main content page count 320
Word Count 85000
Illustrations 125 Illustrations
95 photographs
30 illustrations, black & white
Dimensions 6 x 9 in.
List Price $19.95


FOREWORD by Dore Ashton
FOREWORD by Kenneth Reardon


Case 1: Participatory Planning on a Regional Scale, New York
Case 2: A Case History, Williamsburg-Greenpoint, New York
Case 3: East Harlem Cases, New York
Case 4: Creation of the First Microcredit Organization, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Case 5: Jardies, Meudon, France
Case 6: Organization for Homeless People: Los Destechados, Pereira, Colombia
Case 7: Four Projects from Tumaco and Remote Parts of Colombia




Press Reviews

The New York Times
"To transform their good intentions into tangible results in neighborhoods jittery over gentrification, the mayor and his planners should read Building Together: Case Studies in Participatory Planning and Community Building."
- Sam Roberts

Environment & Urbanization
"This book helps to demystify the process and methodological approach to community planning. It speaks clearly about power struggles, limiting regulations and norms, but also about the innovations, visions and opportunities that come from genuinely participatory planning efforts."
- Julia Wesely

The Cyber Hood
As strong proponents of this participatory approach to planning, Roger Katan's and Ronald Shiffman's book Building Together explores the contexts and levels of problem solving and decision

- Smitha Gopalakrishnan

"Entering the fray is a providential new and needed book, titled Building Together, by Roger Katan with Ronald Shiffman, two prominent community planners, illustrating how cities should and could evolve to be more democratic and livable."
- Sam Hall Kaplan


"It is rare that a book about democratic design, planning, and community development considers
the pragmatics of its practice through in-depth case studies. There is so much to learn from pioneers


Just Planning: The Salzburg Congress on Urban Planning and Development
Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria, May 14-17

Spatial justice and inclusive governance as instruments of change enables actions to improve our cities. Spatial Justice refers to the promotion of access to public goods, basic services, culture, economic opportunity and healthy environments through fair and inclusive spatial planning and management of both urban and rural spaces and their resources. Inclusive governance refers to our shared belief that the voices of all citizens are vital in building equitable places.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Mindy Fullilove has dedicated her professional life toward advancing justice for all. A board-certified psychiatrist interested in the links between the environment and mental health, she has explored the mental health effects of such environmental processes as violence, rebuilding, segregation, urban renewal, and mismanaged toxins. Her widely acclaimed book Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It, is just one example of her scholarship and commitment to advancing human rights.

There will be a broad, energetic discussion of how our work as planners can advance the path to create the just CITY. Along with our First Annual SCUPAD Film Festival, a Presidents' Roundtable, and our 50th Gala Celebration, the 2015 Congress promises memorable conversations with old and new friends, and opportunities to imagine how we can have an even greater impact in the places we care about.


Other titles linked to this event:
Urban Alchemy
Urban Alchemy
What We See
Beyond Zuccotti Park
Beyond Zuccotti Park

PSPD Lecture Series: Designing for Just, Equitable, and Sustainable Places
Pratt Manhattan room 213, January 30 - May 1, 6-8pm

Join New Village at one of the eight Spring lectures being held at Pratt Manhattan over the coming months!

Ronald Shiffman, author of Building Together, has organized the series and will be moderating several of the sessions. New Village Press will have a book table.

All lectures are 6-8pm, with receptions beginning at 5:30. Hosted by Pratt Institute's Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development.

January 30: Rebuild by Design — Focus on Lower East Side

February 6: Concepts, processes, and political/planning significance of organizing the People's Climate March

February 13: The importance of incorporating/integrating art and design for public events like the People's Climate March

February 30: Rebuild by Design — Focus on Hunts Point

Februrary 27: The Fight Over Renewing Rent Regulation and Real Estate Incentives: What's at Stake?

March 27: PCM follow-up and the citywide Climate Works campaign -- advocating and guiding NYC climate agenda

April 10: Rebuild by Design – Focus Hunts Point - Progress Update

May 1: Reflections on Designing for Just, Equitable, and Sustainable Places—Concluding Session moderated jointly by Eddie Bautista and Ron Shiffman