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


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.


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
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