Design-Preservation Rapid Assistance Teams (D-PRAT)

About D-PRAT

The Urban Design and Preservation Division’s Design-Preservation Rapid Assistance Teams (D-PRAT) is a pro-bono program to support under-resourced communities and organizations by collaboratively planning for the future, focusing on urban design and/or historic preservation issues.

The D-PRAT program provides free planning assistance to local governments and community-based organizations that need planning support to address specific problems or challenges. The program's primary goal 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.

Our D-PRAT program was awarded the 2023 American Planning Association Division Achievement Award for Contribution to the Planning Profession.

If you're interested in participating or learning more, please email the Division.


2024: Town of Enfield, Connecticut - Fall 2024

We are excited to announce Enfield, Connecticut, as our 2024 D-PRAT community. We will work with the Town to examine strategies to address neighborhood revitalization, downtown development, placemaking, and other goals.

We will be seeking volunteers to serve on our on-site and virtual D-PRAT teams. Stay tuned for more information!




2023: City of North Miami, Florida - Nov 13-14

Our Division shared the expertise of its Design-Preservation Rapid Assistance Team (D-PRAT) with the City of North Miami on November 13-14, 2023.

Our third D-PRAT engagement helped the City of North Miami plan for streetscape, historic preservation, and public space design. D-PRAT offered technical expertise to help implement innovative green street initiatives, with a particular emphasis on promoting and safeguarding the swale system using green infrastructure, such as bioswales, while integrating alternative modes of transportation, such as bicycle infrastructure. D-PRAT provided guidance on the importance of historic preservation and adaptive reuse, emphasizing downtown housing. In addition, the workshop offered direction on corridor enhancements and helped identify public spaces where residents can take pride in creating lasting value by serving as focal points for the current community and future generations.

Planning Magazine’s November 2023 article about climate change’s impact on our communities and the planning profession featured the North Miami, Florida D-PRAT site visit.

Read the D-PRAT findings and recommendations to the community. The final report is also available.

Download the Final Report

Download the Community Presentation


From Milan, MO D-PRAT engagement

2022: 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.

Download Report

2021: 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.

Visit the Project Page