Design-Preservation Rapid Assistance Teams (D-PRAT)
We are pleased to announce that the City of North Miami, Florida has been selected as for our 2023 D-PRAT community site visit.
What is D-PRAT?
Design & Preservation Rapid Assistance Team Program
The APA Urban Design and Preservation Division’s Design & Preservation Rapid Assistance Team (D-PRAT) is a pro-bono program to support under-resourced communities and organizations in their efforts to collaboratively plan for a more resilient, equitable, and prosperous future of towns and cities through urban design and historic preservation.
The D-PRAT program provides free planning assistance to local and regional governments and community-based organizations that need planning support to address specific problems or challenges. A sampling of the types of planning the D-PRAT could address include neighborhood visioning, streetscape design, urban design framework, historic preservation frameworks, main street revitalization, and/or historic resource protection. Other ideas are welcome. The program's primary goal is to make urban design and preservation planning resources available to communities that would otherwise not have access to these services or planning expertise.
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: North Miami, Florida
Seeking Virtual or On-Site Volunteers for late October-early November D-PRAT charette!
Want to volunteer short term? Are you interested in up to 8 AICP-CM credits? Eager to share your creative problem-solving skills? The Urban Design and Preservation Division’s Design and Preservation Rapid Assistance Team (D-PRAT) is a pro-bono program to support under-resourced communities and organizations in their efforts to collaboratively plan for the future of Urban Design and Preservation in their areas.
We are preparing to launch our third D-PRAT program this fall, working with the community of North Miami, FL, to help them plan for streetscape, historic preservation, and public space design. The city is looking for technical expertise to help implement innovative green streets initiatives, with a particular emphasis on promoting and safeguarding their swale system using green infrastructure such as bioswales, while integrating alternative modes of transportation such as bicycle infrastructure. We will also be providing information and guidance on the importance of historic preservation and adaptive reuse with an emphasis on downtown housing, provide direction on corridor enhancements, and identify public spaces that residents can take pride in and will create lasting value by serving as focal points for the current community and future generations.
Our division is currently looking for interested UDP members who would like to participate in our technical assistance program and are able to either support a virtual team or be present at the two-day, in-person Design Charette in mid-October to early November 2023. The D-PRAT program will have a larger technical assistance team working virtually to support project work before, during and after the in-person Design Charrette, and we will provide funds for three volunteers to travel and be in-person during two days in November.
We are looking for urban design, preservation, landscape architecture and transportation professionals and students to form a team, that once assembled, will finalize project goals and phases in partnership with the host community.
Expected time commitment for meetings and project work is about 4 hours per week for 2 months. All D-PRAT volunteers will also participate in one virtual meeting with the host community (to be scheduled in October) to further refine the problem statement and deliverables, the host’s obligations, and to plan the event.
Please send an email if you are interested to email@example.com indicating if you are interested in volunteering for the ground team, virtual team, or both. Also, please attach a resume and briefly explain why you are interested and your area of expertise or interest.
PREVIOUS D-PRAT ENGAGEMENTS
City of Milan, Missouri
Our second D-PRAT engagement began in the fall of 2022, working with the City of Milan, Missouri, to help them plan for historic preservation and public space design in their historic downtown core. It quickly grew to consider regional economic development opportunities, gateways, and re-establishing a tree canopy.
The City of Milan applied for the program and identified that they were looking for technical expertise to help reinforce the importance of the historical buildings to the vitality and future of the community. Their objective was to ask the D-PRAT to provide information and guidance on the value of historic preservation and adaptive reuse with an emphasis on downtown housing; provide direction on desperately needed corridor enhancements throughout the downtown, and identify public spaces that residents can take pride in and will create lasting value by serving as focal points for the current community and future generations.
Town of Center, Colorado
In 2021, we worked in partnership with Downtown Colorado Inc. to assist a rural community in Colorado with a two day on-site technical workshop that helped to establish a framework for future development in the area. Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) is Colorado’s downtown association working with commercial districts to foster a local economic ecosystem to support local revitalization and activation of underutilized property, alleviate poverty, foster job and business creation, and increase local opportunity. DCI specializes in downtown organizations and financing mechanisms that support local projects.
About the Program
The Urban Design and Preservation Division’s Design-Preservation Rapid Assistance Teams (D-PRAT) Program is a pro-bono program to support under-resourced communities and organizations in their efforts to collaboratively plan for the future as it relates to urban design and/or historic preservation.
The D-PRAT program will provide free planning assistance to local governments and community-based organizations that need planning support to address specific problems or challenges. The primary goal of the program is to make urban design and preservation planning resources available to organizations and communities that would otherwise not have access to these services or planning expertise.
If you're interested in participating or learning more, please email the Division.