"Public spaces have power," says Burden. "A successful city is like a fabulous party -- people stay because they are having a great time."
The trick, she notes, is to get outside the compulsion of the developer profit motive, and make the most of opportunities for the common good.
"Communities can tell whether or not you understand their neighborhood," she says. "It's not something you can just fake."
To make successful public spaces, more than professional skills are necessary.
"You don't tap into your design expertise," says Burden. "You tap into your humanity."