The Rockefeller Foundation has announced the winners of the 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal. Named for the late author and civic activist, the medals are awarded each year to individuals whose work challenges traditional assumptions and creates new ways of seeing and understanding New York City.
Ronald Shiffman, who has promoted community-based activism for more than fifty years and was instrumental in creating the model for community development corporations, will receive the Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership, while Rosanne Haggerty, founder of the Brownsville Partnership and Community Solutions and a leader in developing innovative strategies to end homelessness and strengthen communities, will receive the Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism. Shiffman plans to donate $50,000 of his award to the New York Community Trust and $25,000 to the Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, while Haggerty will donate her $75,000 award to Community Solutions.
In addition, the inaugural Jane Jacobs Medal for New Technology and Innovation was awarded to Carl Skelton, who developed Betaville, an open-source multiplayer platform for urban design proposals, and Erin Barnes, Brandon Whitney, and Cassie Flynn, who founded ioby, a microfinance network for funding "in our backyard" projects designed to bring sunlight, open space, fresh food, and greenery to the streets of New York City. The three ioby co-founders plan to donate their $25,000 award to the organization, while Skelton has yet to decide what he will do with his $25,000 award.
"The Rockefeller Foundation's Jane Jacobs Medals recognize New Yorkers who use the urban environment to build a more equitable city for everyone," said Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin. "This year's winners embody the very best of Jane Jacobs by working to give a voice to every resident — including the most vulnerable — on how we develop our city structures and policies. It is only when we integrate the entire community that we create the city Jacobs always imagined."