It's Official: Amanda Burden a Big-Shot Urban Planner

Amanda Burden, director of the city’s Department of City Planning and chairwoman of the City Planning Commission, has been given a top designation by the American Institute of Certified Planners, the country’s major planners’ organization.

Ms. Burden was inducted last night into the organization’s College of Fellows, a designation held by only about 400 members.

Ms. Burden’s work in the Planning Department has been a critical element of the Bloomberg administration’s legacy on development in this city, as she has crafted more than 80 rezonings, allowing for thousands of units of new housing while limiting development in many low-rise neighborhoods.

Even if many of the high-profile mega-projects championed by the city ultimately fail to be realized, the rezonings carry long-term impact, particularly the 2005 Hudson Yards rezoning that opened the far West Side to dense development.

Release below.

Commissioner Amanda M. Burden has been inducted into the elite membership of the American Institute of Certified Planners College of Fellows.

AREA PLANNER RECOGNIZED AMONG TOP IN FIELD

Washington, D.C. – The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) will induct Amanda M. Burden, FAICP of New York City into the elite membership of AICP’s College of Fellows at a black-tie ceremony to be held April 27 in conjunction with the American Planning Association’s (APA) National Planning Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The AICP College of Fellows recognizes individuals who’ve made exceptional contributions to the planning profession,” said AICP President Graham Billingsley, AICP. “The Fellows have devoted their careers to excellence in planning and they set the highest standards for professional planners today,” he added.

Election to the Fellowship may be granted to planners who have been longtime members of AICP and have demonstrated excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, community service, leadership, and communication. Altogether, 49 planners from 22 states will be inducted into the AICP College of Fellows at the ceremony, which will be held at Bally’s in Las Vegas.

All planners who have been certified by AICP use the letters “AICP” after their names. Fellows, however, are designated with the letters “FAICP.” Currently, more than 15,500 practicing urban and rural planners in North America and elsewhere have AICP certification. Of those, approximately 400 have attained the status of Fellow.

Burden is being named a Fellow of AICP for individual achievement in the planning profession. During her 32 year career, Burden has brought to the planning process “a humanist design sensibility that greatly enhances new planning initiatives for the public realm,” said Daniel L. Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding for New York City.

Responsible for plans that led to the redevelopment of New York’s Battery Park, Burden’s work has gained national and international repute. “Under her robust leadership, Amanda led a team of architects and planners to craft a pragmatic and elegant solution that integrated the site into the fabric of lower Manhattan,” said Richard Kahan, founder and CEO of The Urban Assembly.

Currently, Burden chairs the New York City Planning Commission. “Under Amanda’s direction, the Department of City Planning is in the midst of its most active, innovative, and responsive period since the mid-twentieth century,” said Ethel Sheffer, ACIP, president of APA’s NY Metro Chapter. “Her high standards for extensive outreach and community engagement, her insistence on design excellence, and her attention to the details that shape the conditions for a better built environment for New Yorkers will leave a lasting impact on this city.”

AICP is the professional institute of the American Planning Association. For more than 80 years, AICP has promoted professional excellence in the field of planning by setting high standards for competence, education, experience, and ethical conduct, and by articulating the future of the planning profession.

The 2008 National Planning Conference, which is being held April 27 through May 1 at Bally’s Las Vegas, is the 100th annual conference of its kind in the U.S. The first planning conference took place in Washington, D.C., in May 1909.