Edith Hsu-Chen

Director of the Manhattan Office, New York City Department of City Planning

More From Panelist

Photograph by Guido Vitti for Bloomberg BusinessweekEdith Hsu‐Chen is responsible for directing planning, land use, and urban design policy to foster growth of Manhattan’s business districts, neighborhoods, and major institutions. She is a key adviser to Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden and the City Planning Commission, and she represents the city on land use matters to a wide range of stakeholders including elected officials, community organizations, public agencies, and private sector entities.

Hsu‐Chen specializes in incentive zoning regulations that deliver public amenities, such as transit improvements and open space, as part of private development. A key focus of her work is fostering transit-oriented development. She is currently leading the city’s planning initiative to ensure the long-term competitiveness of East Midtown, around Grand Central Terminal, as a global business district.

Other major public rezonings in Hsu‐Chen’s portfolio include Hudson Yards, West Chelsea, and the High Line, as well as Harlem’s 125th Street, the Lower East Side/East Village, and the reclamation of Seward Park, a large and long-vacant site in Lower Manhattan. She has led highly complex private projects through the land use review process including 15 Penn at Pennsylvania Station, institutional expansion plans for the Museum of Modern Art and New York University, and the large-scale mixed-use development at Riverside Center. She is also a leading expert on privately owned public spaces.

Hsu‐Chen holds a master’s degree in urban planning from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in design of the environment from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught and lectured at Harvard, City University of New York, and Columbia University, as well as planning symposia in the U.S. and Canada.