The deadline for nominations for this years' Jane Jacobs Medal has been extended until Monday, February 4th. For more details about the medal, click here.
The Mayor’s PlaNYC2030 is a citywide sustainability agenda that lays the groundwork for achieving and maintaining affordable housing, open space, good transportation, clean air, water, and land and reliable energy. It affords an enormous opportunity to rethink the development of the city.
However, the plan requires greater attention at the neighborhood level in order to achieve the goals it has laid out. In order to achieve this, the Municipal Art Society Planning Center has created Imagine Flatbush 2030, an initiative aimed at creating neighborhood sustainability goals and tools to measure progress toward community-decided consensus-based goals.
Click on the Play icon above to watch a video that outlines the goals of the project and features footage of the first community workshop.
Imagine Flatbush 2030 is part of the Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York project. To learn more about the project and find out how you can get involved, visit www.mas.org.
Beginning January 8, the Rockefeller Foundation will be accepting nominations for the 2008 Jane Jacobs Medal on its website through Monday, February 4, 2008.
The 2008 Rockefeller Foundation Jane Jacobs 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 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 awarding of the inaugural Jane Jacobs Medals in September 2007 coincided with the opening of the multi-faceted project, Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York, a partnership between the Rockefeller Foundation and the Municipal Art Society (MAS). Read the full press release.
The Jane Jacobs Medal recognizes visionary work in building a more diverse, dynamic and equitable city through creative uses of the urban environment. Medals are awarded to two living persons whose accomplishments represent Jacobsean principles and practices in action in New York City. The selection of the winners and allocation of the prize money -- totaling $200,000 -- will ultimately be decided by the members of a Medal Selection Jury. The first award recognizes leadership and lifetime contribution. The second award recognizes new ideas and activism. Together the medalists represent the creativity, innovation and dynamism of New York City.
Due to unprecedented interest, the acclaimed exhibition Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York will now be on display through Saturday, January 26, 2008. Originally scheduled to close at the beginning of the month, the exhibition, which encourages citizens to observe the city and empowers them to become citizen activists for positive change, has been extended for three weeks.
When the exhibit opened, The New York Times produced a slideshow of it. You can watch it here.
Press coverage of the exhibit and related programs can be found by clicking the"Press" tab in the navigation bar above.
Jane Jacobs' famous analysis of the "ballet of the sidewalks" in The Death and Life of Great American Cities focused on the interplay of people, traffic and commercial activity in her Greenwich Village neighborhood. Since then, many have done similarly, and maintaining, or in the case of new developments, striving to create, vibrant streetlife has become a watchword in urban design and planning. In fact, some of the major objections to currently planned mega-projects, like Atlantic Yards and Columbia's expansion into Manhattanville/West Harlem, center on the proposals' supposed failure to effectively to create streetlife.
The New York Times reports today in Sidewalks of New York Become Premium Space that the ballet of the sidewalks has gained a new component in the last four years. The city government has been actively promoting the addition of outdoor, sidewalk seating areas for restaurants and cafes, and the uptake has been so great that by the end of October 1,069 restaurants across the city either had or were awaiting sidewalk cafe licenses, up from just 310 in 1997 when records of this kind began. The Times suggests that quite apart from being good for business, outdoor seating is beautifying New York City's sidewalks.
Of course, not everyone agrees. The rising population combined with already narrow sidewalks, more outdoor seating, and new, larger outdoor furniture (the new Cemusa bus shelters and newsstands) is making the city's pedestrian zones ever more congested. Some, like Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives, believe the sidewalks should be expanded to accommodate the rise in foot traffic at the expense of on-street parking spots, while others feel that stationary items on sidewalks present obstacles for pedestrians and make the ballet a potentially tricky dance.
Do you like sidewalk cafe/restaurant seating? Is there enough, too little or too much of it? Should the sidewalks be widened? What other issues associated with streetlife do you care about? Comments welcome.
Update: For the New York Times' summary of what was said at the panel, click here.
Led by architect and critic Joseph Giovannini, tonight's panel examined whether Jane Jacobs' principles and methods of activism are still relevant to the challenges posed by the current glut of development projects. They also touched on the social and historical context in which Jacobs emerged and the ways she has influenced modern urban design and planning.
Do you agree with what the panelists had to say? Do you think Jane Jacobs' principles are still relevant today? To what extent has the world changed since her activism in the Village in the 1960s? And how are today's challenges different to those she faced?
Whether you attended the event or not, please feel free to give your thoughts on these questions or raise any relevant issues you like by commenting below.
Please note: a video podcast of the event will be available to watch here on Monday, November 5.