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Nominations Open for The Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal

The Rockefeller Foundation has announced that the public nominating process for the 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal—awarded to living individuals whose creative vision for the urban environment has significantly contributed to the vibrancy and variety of New York City—is now open.  All are invited to submit nominations at until April 30, 2013.

Now in its seventh consecutive year, the Rockefeller Foundation created the Jane Jacobs Medal in 2007 to honor activist, author and urbanist, Jane Jacobs, who died in April 2006 at the age of 89.

The 2012 honorees were Carl Skelton, co-founder, Gotham Innovation Greenhouse; and the founders of ioby—Erin Barnes, Cassie Flynn, and Brandon Whitney—for New Technology and Innovation; Rosanne Haggerty, president, Community Solutions, for New Ideas and Activism; and Ron Shiffman, professor of urban planning Pratt Institute, for Lifetime Leadership. This year’s winners were celebrated at an awards ceremony on March 14, 2013.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s relationship with Jane Jacobs dates back to the 1950s, when it launched an Urban Design Studies program that helped foster the emergence of the new discipline of urban design and theory.  As part of this initiative, one of the Foundation’s first grants was to the then-obscure writer from Greenwich Village, for the research and writing of her seminal book, the Death and Life of Great American Cities.

The Rockefeller Foundation is looking for nominees for two different awards – one for lifetime leadership and one for new ideas and activism – that demonstrate any or all of the following qualities:

  • Open our eyes to new ways of seeing and understanding our city
  • Challenge traditional assumptions and conventional thinking
  • Advance a creative use of neighborhood knowledge
  • Promote Jacobsean principles of dynamism, density, diversity and equity
  • Take a common-sense approach to solving complex problems
  • Generate new principles for the way we think about development and preservation in New York City
  • Demonstrate activism and innovative cross-disciplinary thinking
  • Provide leadership in solving common problems
  • Generate creative uses of the urban environment
  • Make New York City a place of hope and expectation that attracts new people and new ideas.

The 2013 Rockefeller Foundation Jane Jacobs Medal winners will be announced in September of this year.  The medals will be awarded to the recipients at a reception in the fall.

Since 2007, the Jane Jacobs Medal has been administered by the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS).  In conjunction with the Jane Jacobs Medal, and with the goal of expanding public appreciation of the work and legacy of this pioneering activist, MAS sponsors related walking tours and the annual Jane Jacobs Forum.

To learn more about the 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal and to submit your nominations for this prestigious prize, please visit the Rockefeller Foundation website at