Building Together

Case Studies in Participatory Planning and Community Building

With Ronald Shiffman
Foreword by Dore Ashton, Kenneth Reardon

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





"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


Ron Shiffman & Roger Katan: Building Together Symposium and Book Launch - Brooklyn, NY
Pratt Institute, Higgins Hall, 61 St. James Place, Brooklyn, NY 11205, Friday Nov 21, 5:00-8:00 pm & Saturday Nov 22, 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

Hosted by Pratt Institute's Department of City & Regional Planning to honor Roger Katan and Ron Shiffman and the publication of their new book Building Together.


This symposium is free and open to the public. No registration is required.






5:45 PM DAVID BURNEY, interviews Roger Katan and Ron Shiffman

6:20 PM         ROLAND ANGLIN, PhD, Director, Cornwall Center, Rutgers, moderated discussion on the importance of Building Together from Domestic and International Perspectives with panelists:

Michael Cohen, Director of International Programs, The New School
Mathias Heyden, Chair for Urban Design and Architecture, TU Berlin
Rahul Srivastrava / Matias Echanove, Mumbai, India, URBZ-user generated cities
Kenneth Reardon, Director of the Graduate Program in City & Regional Planning, University of Memphis

7:10 PM Break for Light Refreshments

7:30 PM ROBERTA FELDMAN, Professor Emerita, School of Architecture, co-founder, the City Design Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, moderates discussion on the Legacy of Advocacy Design and Participatory Planning with panelists:
Michael Pyatok, FAIA, Principal, Pyatok Associates Architecture and Planning
Anthony Schuman, RA, Associate Professor, NJIT, named outstanding  Professor, 2013.
Mindy Thompson Fullilove, research psychiatrist at New York State Psychiatric Institute, professor of clinical psychiatry and public health, Columbia University.
Michael Rios, PhD, Department of Human Ecology, University of California Davis

8:45 PM Reflections on the discussion:
Jean-Louis Cohen, Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture, NYU




9:00 AM Breakfast refreshments

9:30 AM JOAN BYRON moderates discussion on New Trends in Advocacy Design and Participatory Planning with panelists:
Betsy MacLean, Executive Director, Hester Street Collaborative
Jessica Clemente, Executive Director, Nos Quedamos [to be confirmed]
Quilian Riano, Founder and Principal, DSGN AGNC
Jeff Hou, Professor, University of Washington, Landscape Architecture
Daniel Hernandez, Deputy Commissioner New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development

10:45 AM Coffee Break

11:00 AM       Reflections moderated by STEPHEN GOLDSMITH in conversation with
Kathy Dorgan, Principal, Dorgan Architecture
Tom Angotti, Professor, Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College; Director, Hunter College Center for Community Planning & Development
Roberta Washington, FAIA, Principal, Roberta Washington Architects
Carlton Brown, CEO, Full Spectrum of NY LLC
Anusha Venkatamaran, Director, Green Light District at El Puente, Brooklyn

12:15 Closing Comments:
Adam Friedman, Director, Pratt Center for Community Development
Brad Lander, New York City Council Member [to be confirmed]

12:30 PM CLOSE of Formal Session

Lunch Break  Folks on their own

1:30–3:00 PM  Reconvene in Room 416

Further Reflections on the State and Future of Participatory Planning and Development:
ROGER KATAN and RON SHIFFMAN will be joined in round-table discussions with

Anker West, Ceramicist and architectural designer, Newark, New Jersey
Troy West, Architect, educator and artist worked extensively with local communities.
Louis Mannie Lionni, Architect, educator; Editor, 05401
Kellie Terry, Director, Point Development Corporation, Bronx, NY 
Eve Baron, Academic Program Manager, Urban and Community Studies
                   Interim Associate Director for Worker Education, The Murphy Institute, CUNY
Eva Hanhardt, Planner, environmental activist, Founder, EMS Program, Pratt Institute
Eva Alligood, ‎Senior Program Officer for Operations, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Christopher Rice, MSCRP Candidate, RAMP Student Coordinator

3:30 PM RECEPTION for all participants

There will also be an exhibition celebrating the community development work of Ron Shiffman, his collaborators, colleagues, and his many students on view during the evening.