Amanda Burden Wants to Remake New York. She Has 19 Months Left.

(The New York Times) Amanda M. Burden, in a sheath dress, impossibly thin and with a blond bob reminiscent of the “Mad Men” ’60s, wore a serene smile as she oversaw a recent public hearing in a drab hearing room near City Hall.

“Today, I am thrilled to vote on the department’s latest sustainability initiative,” said Ms. Burden, the director of the New York City Planning Department, her clipped diction and sophisticated dress contrasting with the worn-out rug and metal chairs of her surroundings. Ms. Burden was referring to Zone Green, “the most comprehensive effort of any city in the nation,” she said, to use zoning to spur environmentally efficient building.

Emily Berl for The New York Times