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2010 Jane Jacobs Medal Recipients Announced

2009 masterworks winners

(Left) Joshua David and Robert Hammond. (Right) Elizabeth Barlow Rogers.

The Rockefeller Foundation and MAS proudly congratulate the recipients of the 2010 Jane Jacobs Medal—Joshua David and Robert Hammond, co-founders of Friends of the High Line and Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, longtime and founding President of the Central Park Conservancy and current president of the Foundation for Landscape Studies. The medal, which is administered by MAS, was created in 2007 to honor the author and activist who died in April 2006. It is awarded annually to New Yorkers whose work creates new ways of seeing and understanding the city.

“MAS is delighted the Rockefeller Foundation has chosen Joshua David, Robert Hammond and Elizabeth Barlow Rogers as Jane Jacobs Medalists,” said MAS President Vin Cipolla. “All three recipients embody Jane Jacobs’ tenets and demonstrate true dedication to New York City. With their innovative stewardship and activism, these medalists have created a more livable city for all to enjoy.”

Joshua David and Robert Hammond, whose vision and collaboration transformed the once derelict High Line elevated railroad into one of New York City’s most unique parks, will receive the 2010 Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism. David and Hammond met at a community board meeting in 1999; they were both there to protest the demolition of the abandoned elevated railroad track in their neighborhood. As a result, that same year Mr. Hammond and Mr. David founded Friends of the High Line with the long-shot goal of convincing the city to reverse its policy on demolition and envision the public park that the High Line could become.

For the last decade, Mr. Hammond and Mr. David have embodied the spirit of Jane Jacobs as they fought the forces of real estate speculation, fended off critics, and rallied together an entire community to develop a landmark in landscape design that gives all New Yorkers a unique way of viewing their city. The High Line has joined the ranks of Prospect Park and Central Park in becoming one of New York City’s most spectacular outdoor spaces.

For 46 years, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers has worked tirelessly on behalf of New York City’s parkland – none more prominently than Central Park. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Central Park had fallen into severe disrepair. Ms. Rogers believed that the citizens of New York City could reverse the decline of this nineteenth-century landscape masterpiece and world treasure. Mayor Edward Koch, at the suggestion of his first park commissioner, and MAS board member Gordon Davis, gave Rogers a mandate to fulfill this mission by creating the title Central Park Administrator and appointing her to that position in 1979. A year later Ms. Rogers, Mayor Koch, and Commissioner Davis founded the Central Park Conservancy, a pioneering public/private partnership aimed at encouraging and cultivating citizen support for the management renewal and restoration of Central Park.

After leaving the Conservancy in 1995, Ms. Rogers formed the Cityscape Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting citizens and public officials in the beautification of public places. In 2006, she founded the Foundation for Landscape Studies, an organization whose mission is to promote an active understanding of place.

The Rockefeller Foundation made a grant to Jane Jacobs in the 1950s for the research and writing of the book The Life and Death of Great American Cities. More than 50 years later, this work remains one of the most influential books ever written on urban design.