For the 2015/2016 academic year, NPCR worked with five graduate students from New York University’s urban planning school in undertaking a project that may change the way State government thinks about community revitalization.

Rather than a Master’s thesis, NYU’s Wagner School requires its Urban Planning students to complete a “Capstone” project, which serves as both a critical learning experience and an opportunity to perform a public service. Over the course of an academic year, students work in teams with faculty oversight to address challenges and identify opportunities for a client organization or to conduct research on a pressing social question.  

NPCR’s proposal for a Capstone project was accepted by the Wagner School last September, and, for the next eight months, NPCR worked with a Capstone team in evaluating the State’s Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) program. As a long-time champion of the program, NPCR felt it was important to know – and to be able to explain – whether and how the BOA program serves communities burdened with brownfields. The Capstone team assigned to the task spent two semesters developing research instruments and metrics, gathering data, and undertaking the first ever, comprehensive, qualitative and quantitative assessment of the BOA program. Their presentation at NPCR's May 13th Forum was the first public discussion of their research and findings.  To see the full report  click here; for a summary of the report,  click here.

NPCR is grateful for the team’s hard work and thoughtful analysis, which will provide the basis for a renewed policy initiative to amend and augment the BOA program.  


Tyler Gumpright | NYU Wagner School

Tyler’s professional experience includes program management positions for the Voice and Future fund at SEIU Local 615 and the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements. His planning experience includes working on the launch of Citibike, volunteering with the Trust for Public Land, and GIS planning at the Kingdom Trails Association in East Burke, VT. Tyler has a BA in International Relations from Boston University and is completing his Master of Urban Planning degree from NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Rose Martinez | NYU Wagner School

Rose currently is an ANHD/Morgan Stanley fellow placed at Cypress Hills LDC and a graduate assistant at the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management. Previously, she was a research assistant at NYU Wagner Research Center for Leadership in Action, summer assistant at the Center for Architecture Foundation, and youth organizer at UPROSE. Rose continues to volunteer at UPROSE during her free time. Rose will finish her BA-MUP from NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Rachel Cohen | NYU Wagner School

Rachel worked in climate and energy policy in Washington before graduate school, most recently as the Outreach Coordinator with the Union of Concerned Scientists Clean Vehicles team. Rachel holds a B.A. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis and is completing her Masters of Urban Planning degree from the New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. During her time at NYU, Rachel has worked at the Department of City Planning, New York City Transit, and HR&A.

Sam Levy | NYU Wagner School

Sam is currently a graduate research assistant for the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management. He received his B.A. from Grinnell College in Iowa in Anthropology and is currently pursuing his Masters of Urban Planning from the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Prior to graduate school, Sam worked for three years in the Stanford University Land Use and Environmental Planning Department as a GIS analyst and providing geospatial support to the Heritage Services group.

Javier Garciadiego | NYU Wagner School

Javier received his B.A. in Architecture from Universidad Iberoamericana and completed Master studies in Real Estate at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Javier also worked at Infonavit (The Mexican Institute of the Workforce Housing Fund) developing and operating programs to improve housing projects in disarray. Javier received the 2014 Cemex Grant, a CONACYT Grant, and he’s part of Infonavit’s pilot project to fund studies abroad - with which he’s pursuing his Masters of Urban Planning from the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
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