Edith Hsu-Chen (MUP ’97) is working to boldly enhance the area surrounding Grand Central Station in Manhattan. In her role as Director of the Manhattan office of the New York City Department of City Planning, Hsu-Chen plans to make a real impact by sanctioning structures twice as tall as that which are currently permitted to be built in this area. Frank Ruchala Jr. (MUP ’05), a city planner and urban designer in New York said that the new plan would result in higher sustainability standards and greater public infrastructure improvements.
Former Director of the Master in Urban Planning Degree Program Professor Jerold Kayden invited both Hsu-Chen and Ruchala to the GSD to talk with current students, and said that one of the greatest joys of teaching is, “seeing your students ripen into mature professionals who then make a real impact in the world.”
Professor Kayden said, “our program has a special focus on the built environment and teaches students how to understand, analyze, and influence the variety of forces — economic, social, political, cultural, environmental, legal — shaping it. The built environment includes the buildings, the streets and sidewalks, the parks, all the things that together constitute what a city is.”
Photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer