Amanda Burden has been making a big impact on the City. As Chair of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning, Ms. Burden’s efforts to revitalize New York have resulted in the preservation of the High Line, the creation of the East River Waterfront Esplanade, and the future development of Freshkills Park – a former landfill in Staten Island, to name a few. Both on an architectural and urban level, and also from a sustainability policy viewpoint, Ms. Burden’s years as Chair has effectively “raised the quality of design in our city and our expectations about design and city life.” This week, Ms. Burden has been recognized by the Architectural League of New York and has been awarded their highest honor, the President’s Medal. Such an award is rightly deserved as Ms Burden’s impact on architecture and planning initiatives has shaped the public spaces that have grown to define New York. The President’s Medal is an honor that is awarded by peers from an organization that is independent of any professional or policy agenda, and with this recognition, Ms. Burden joins recent recipients such as Massimo and Lella Vignelli, Hugh Hardy, Richard Meier, Ada Louise Huxtable, Robert A.M. Stern, Kenneth Frampton, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. More about the award after the break.
“Amanda Burden’s New York is a world of intense and sociable street life—and of the solitary pleasures of places designed for contemplation and respite. Amanda Burden’s New York vibrates with the dynamism of a world capital—and offers direct connection to the natural world of plants and weather and water. Her vision encompasses the largest scale and the most intimate: she is leading the reimagining of the city’s 520-mile-long waterfront, and she knows that how the edge of a bench touches the back of a knee can determine the success of a public space. Amanda Burden has creatively and effectively used zoning as a tool to shape the city’s future and to protect the valued essence of its past and present.”
“For her deep commitment to the public realm; for her passion for design and architecture; for her remarkable accomplishments in raising both the quality of design in our city and our expectations about design and city life; for her love of New York in all its variety and complexity: the Architectural League presents its President’s Medal to Amanda M. Burden. As a planner and as a public servant, she has made a profound and lasting contribution to making New York a more vibrant, more humane, more beautiful city.”
We extend our congratulations to Ms. Burden, as well as a sense of gratitude for keeping New York dynamic, intense and continually on the rise.