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The Rockefeller Foundation Honors 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal Winners

NEW YORK—Today Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Judith Rodin announced the recipients of the 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal—Bette Midler and Ian Marvy. The Medals are awarded each year to recipients 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.

Ms. Midler, who has restored parks, saved and stewards community gardens and spearheaded the planting of one million trees in New York City, will receive the 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership. Mr. Marvy, the Founder of Added Value, which bring educational opportunities and fresh produce to Red Hook, Brooklyn, will receive the 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism.

Along with the medal, each recipient will receive a cash award. Ms. Midler will donate her $100,000 award to New York Restoration Project.

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 Rockefeller Foundation Jane Jacobs Medal recognizes New Yorkers who intervene in and use the urban environment to build a more equitable city for all of us,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “It is completely appropriate for us to honor Ms. Midler’s work in light of her work to bring verdant recreational space to so many New Yorkers in so many different communities. It is also appropriate that we honor Mr. Marvy’s work with community youth in bringing fresh produce to what had been a food desert.”

Ms. Midler founded New York Restoration Project in 1995 to partner with NYC Department of Parks and Recreation to clear trash and debris from Fort Tryon Park, Fort Washington Park, and Highbridge Park. New York Restoration Project has helped transform Swindler Cove from an illegal dumping site to a restored environment that includes woodlands, wetlands and native plantings. In 1999, when then-Mayor Rudolph Guiliani sought to sell 114 community gardens to private developers, Ms. Midler and the New York Restoration Project sprang into action, raising money, donating time, and creating coalitions that successfully protected the 114 community gardens from development. In the process, New York Restoration Project became the steward of 55 community gardens throughout New York City. In 2007 New York Restoration Project partnered with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation to launch MillionTreesNYC with the goal of planting and caring for one million new trees in New York City by 2017. They are ahead of schedule. For her stewardship of New York City’s green space, Bette Midler is the 2013 recipient of the Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership.

Mr. Marvy is the founding director of Added Value, an urban farm in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Founded in 2001 to provide fresh produce in what was a food desert, Added Value has since produces 12 tons of fresh produce for donation, sale and consumption. Founded with a goal of also helping community youth, Added Value now serves as an educational and work site for 152 young people, offers educational programs for 280 elementary school children a year, leads workshops for 1,300 school children per year and has generated $70,000 in revenue for youth stipends. For his work using the raising of local fresh food to support community youth, Ian Marvy is the 2013 recipient of the Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism.

The selection of the Jane Jacobs Medalists and allocation of the prize money was determined by the 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal Jury, chaired by Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. The Jury also includes Richard Kahan, Founder and CEO of the Urban Assembly and recipient of the 2009 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership; Reggie Van Lee, Executive Vice President, Booze Allen Hamilton; Susan Freedman, President of the Public Art Fund. The 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal is administered by the Municipal Art Society (MAS).

Municipal Art Society
The MAS, founded in 1893, is a nonprofit membership organization committed to making New York a more livable city through education, dialogue and advocacy for intelligent urban planning, design and preservation. For more information, visit

The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation aims to achieve equitable growth by expanding opportunity for more people in more places worldwide, and to build resilience by helping them prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. Throughout its 100 year history, The Rockefeller Foundation has enhanced the impact of innovative thinkers and actors working to change the world by providing the resources, networks, convening power, and technologies to move them from idea to impact. In today’s dynamic and interconnected world, The Rockefeller Foundation has a unique ability to address the emerging challenges facing humankind through innovation, intervention and influence in order to shape agendas and inform decision making. For more information, please visit

Media Inquiries:
Laura Gordon, The Rockefeller Foundation, 212-852-8216,