Amy Tomasso is a summer intern fascinated by issues of human-environmental interaction in urban settings. She first knew she wanted to study urban issues while visiting her family’s ancestral village in Italy and observing the ultimate public space, the piazza. The piazza serves as the focal point of all social and commercial interactions and a relic of shared community history. Realizing the potential for social capital and strong communal identity inherent in vibrant public space, she decided to pursue urban studies with the hopes of making cities more equitable, livable, and beautiful for all. Additionally, Amy’s passion for the environment, motivated by her love for hiking and backpacking, inspires her to make cities greener and more sustainable through innovative uses of parks, plazas, and green spaces. She believes that nature and cities are not antithetical and it is in fact their conscientious mediation that will make cities thrive and act as bellwethers of climate justice in the 21st century.
She is excited to be exploring Placemaking and the factors that contribute to successful public space this summer with Project for Public Spaces in the iconic metropolis of New York. Her project work includes creating walking tour training materials of the city’s recent public space improvements and performing an in-depth study on community gardens as microcosms of public space.
Amy is a rising junior at Stanford University where she is majoring in Urban Studies with a concentration in Urban Sustainability, and minoring in Italian. She originally hails from Farmington, Connecticut, where she observed the constraints of modern development set against the preservation of a 1640s-era town center. It is a thrill for her to be exploring issues of space on a much larger scale this summer in New York City!