As New York’s chief city planner under the Bloomberg administration, Amanda Burden led revitalization of some of the city's most familiar features — from the High Line to the Brooklyn waterfront.

Why you should listen

With a keen eye for detail that extends to the most humble park bench -- and a gift for convincing developers and bureaucrats of her vision -- former New York City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden rebuilt New York City.

Taking inspiration from her mentor, the influential urban theorist William H. “Holly” Whyte, Burden stepped out of the society pages (she's Babe Paley's daughter) and into a high-profile development career, which started with the planning and design of Battery Park and brought her to the Bloomberg administration. Her high design standards and flair for human-scale public spaces (as she told the Wall Street Journal, "You can actually change a city by a small stroke") ensures that her legacy will be an enduring element of New York’s urban landscape. Post-mayoralty, she is joining Mike Bloomberg's newly established global consultancy, Bloomberg Associates, as one of the founding Principals (along with Janette Sadik-Khan, former traffic commisioner).

What others say

“Arguably the most influential figure in New York City government, next to Mayor Bloomberg.” — Vanity Fair, May 2010

Amanda Burden’s TED talks

Amanda Burden on the TED Blog

Live from TED2014

Public spaces have power: Amanda Burden at TED2014

March 18, 2014

When we think of cities, we think of buildings and skyscrapers and stray cats. For Amanda Burden, who spent 12 years as New York City’s director of urban planning, they’re primarily about people. They’re about where people go and where they meet — that’s the core of how cities work. And for the people, even more important than the […]

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Live from TED2014

Reshape: The speakers in session 3 of TED2014

March 18, 2014

Our world is constantly changing, and it is bold ideas that push this forward. Our speakers in this session are all big thinkers who are working to reshape the ways we see, think about, and interact with the world, from the mind behind some of your favorite fonts to an urban planner transforming New York […]

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