Amanda Burden Gives TED Pitch for Public Space

Amanda Burden amassed quite a track record during her tenure as planning commissioner for New York City, like rezoning 40 percent of the city. In a recent Ted talk, however, Burden concentrated on the details that make for successful public spaces.
Allison Meier / flickr

“When I think about cities, I think about people,” says former New York City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden to open her recent TED talk in Vancouver.

The talk makes the case for public spaces as the key for planning great cities, as well as providing details about what makes great public spaces work.

Here are some of the juiciest sound bites from the talk, but there’s lots more in the 18-plus minute video.

  • “Places like Paley Park don’t happen by accident…This little park provided what New Yorkers crave: comfort and greenery.”
  • “You know, communities can tell whether or not you understand their neighborhoods. It's not something you can just fake.”
  • “Hey, why not take out those plantings and have shops all along the High Line? Wouldn't that be terrific and won't it mean a lot more money for the city? Well no, it would not be terrific. It would be a mall, and not a park.”
  • “If there is any one lesson that I have learned in my life as a city planner, it is that public spaces have power. It's not just the number of people using them, it's the even greater number of people who feel better about their city just knowing that they are there.”
Full Story: How public spaces make cities work

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