Amanda M. Burden, an urban planner and civic activist, is Chair of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning. Since her appointment in 2002, she has spearheaded Mayor Bloomberg’s economic development initiatives with comprehensive urban design master plans designed to catalyze commercial and residential development throughout the city and to reclaim its waterfront. Among these are master plans for the East River Waterfront in Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, Long Island City and Jamaica in Queens, as well as the Hudson Yards on the far west side of Manhattan. The Hudson Yards plan, the city’s largest and most ambitious rezoning proposal, will create much needed office space and new housing as well as a network of new parkland and public open space.
Under her direction, the Department of City Planning has also initiated rezoning plans that provide significant new housing opportunities in neighborhoods such as Greenpoint/Williamsburg in Brooklyn, East and Central Harlem, and Port Morris in the Bronx. She has championed and facilitated the preservation of the High Line in Manhattan, part of the West Chelsea/High Line plan, and the recipient of a 2006 National Planning Award from the American Planning Association. Ms. Burden is also overseeing the transformation of the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island into a world-class park. Recognizing the value of neighborhoods of special character, she has sponsored rezonings to protect numerous low-density neighborhoods throughout the city.
Amanda Burden served on the City Planning Commission from 1990 until her appointment as Chair in 2002. From 1983 until 1990, she was responsible for the planning and design of Battery Park City and oversaw the design of all open spaces, including the Esplanade and the 30 acres of parkland.
In 2005, Pratt Institute awarded Ms. Burden an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration, and the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects presented her with its 2005 Center for Architecture Award. Ms. Burden’s dedication to design excellence was recognized by the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, which presented her with its 2004 Design Patron award. In l987, Ms. Burden received the Sidney Strauss Award from the New York Society of Architects "for outstanding achievement for the benefit of the architectural profession."
Amanda Burden has been involved for many years with the city’s cultural community and with civic groups dedicated to improving the quality of life in the city. She served as Chair of the Board of Creative Time, Inc., was a Member of the Board of the Center for Arts Education, of the Nature Conservancy, of the Architectural League and of the Fund for the City of New York, and she is a Trustee of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation.