Jane Jacobs Medal

Logo for the Jane Jacobs Medal

The Rockefeller Foundation awards the Jane Jacobs Medal annually to individuals whose work creates new ways of seeing and understanding New York City, challenges traditional assumptions, and creatively uses the urban environment to make New York City a place of hope and expectation. MAS administers the medal through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

The Rockefeller Foundation Jane Jacobs Medal was created in 2007 to honor the author and activist who died in April 2006 at the age of 89. The Rockefeller Foundation’s relationship with Jane Jacobs dates back to the 1950s, when the Foundation made a grant to the then-obscure writer from Greenwich Village, for the research and writing of the book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Now more than fifty years later, Jane Jacobs’ work remains one of the most influential books ever written on urban design.

The 2016 Jane Jacobs Medal was open to international honorees for the first time, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Jacobs’ birth and the impact of her ideas on cities around the world. The Medal will be awarded a ceremony in Quito, Ecuador, during the United Nations Habitat III Conference.

Jane Jacobs Medalists

2016

Medal for Lifetime Leadership:

  • Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
  • Mr. PK Das, a Mumbai-based architect and activist

2015 and 2014

No medal was awarded these years.

2013

Medal for Lifetime Leadership:

  • Bette Midler, Entertainer and Founder, New York Restoration Project

Medal for New Ideas and Activism:

  • Ian Marvy, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Added Value

2012

Medal for Lifetime Leadership:

  • Ron Shiffman, professor, Pratt Institute

Medal for New Ideas and Activism:

  • Rosanne Haggerty, president, Community Solutions

Medal for New Technology and Innovation:

  • Carl Skelton, co-founder, Gotham Innovation Greenhouse
  • Erin Barnes, Cassie Flynn, and Brandon Whitney, co-founders, ioby

2011

Medal for Lifetime Leadership:

  • Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal, Filmakers and founders of the Tribeca Film Festival

Medal for New Ideas and Activism:

  • Janette Sadik-Khan, commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation
  • Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives

2010

Medal for Lifetime Leadership:

  • Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, longtime and founding President of the Central Park Conservancy and current President of the Foundation for Landscape Studies

Medal for New Ideas and Activism:

2009

Medal for Lifetime Leadership:

  • Richard Kahan, founder and CEO of the Urban Assembly

Medal for New Ideas and Activism:

  • Damaris Reyes, executive director of Good Old Lower East Side – View video

2008

Medal for Lifetime Leadership:

  • Peggy Shepard, executive director and co-founder of West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc.

Medal for New Ideas and Activism:

  • Alexie Torres-Fleming, executive director and founder of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice – View video

2007

Medal for Lifetime Leadership:

Medal for New Ideas and Activism:

  • Omar Freilla, founder of Green Worker Cooperatives – View video