The Rockefeller Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2008 Jane Jacobs Medal on its website through February 1. According to the Foundation, these medals will recognize two living individuals whose creative vision for the urban environment has significantly contributed to the vibrancy and variety of New York City. The medals will be accompanied by prizes totaling $200,000.

Last year’s winners were: Barry Benepe, founder of Greenmarket, for Lifetime Leadership; and Omar Freilla, founder of Green Worker Cooperatives, for New Ideas and Activism.

Read more about the history of the Medal and its requirements after the jump.


The Jane Jacobs Medal was created by the Rockefeller Foundation in 2007 to honor activist, author and urbanist, Jane Jacobs, who died in April 2006 at the age of 89. The 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 awarding of the inaugural Jane Jacobs Medals in September 2007 coincided with the opening of Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York. A partnership between the Rockefeller Foundation and the Municipal Art Society.

According the Foundation’s website, recipients of the Medal should exemplify the following values and ideas:

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

 

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