Meet the winners of the 2014 Jane Jacobs Prize
This is the first year that Spacing has administered the Jane Jacobs Prize, awarded since 1999 to Torontonians who embody this brilliant thinker’s passion for creative and intelligent city building.
Spacing is excited to present the 2014 Jane Jacobs Prize to Graeme Stewart and Sabina Ali, two remarkable people on the forefront of a revolution that’s transforming Toronto’s now aging suburban high-rise clusters into livable communities that work — and attracting the attention of the international planning community in the process.
If you’ve read The Death and Life of Great American Cities, you know Jacobs was no fan of high-rise developments. In fact, her book illustrates that the “tower in the park” so admired by the planning elite of her day failed to incorporate the qualities like density and diversity, that make great urban neighbourhoods work. Somewhat ironically, given that Jacobs spent her later life in Toronto, this city has more postwar towers than any other.
Yet as our towers have aged, and as the demographics of their inhabitants have changed, both of our winners are applying Jane Jacobs’s methods to steer them into a second phase of useful life: Stewart by agitating for big-picture strategic thinking from the top down, and Ali by mobilizing the awe-inspiring energy of her community to create new ways of using the public space around them, literally from the ground up. We think Jane Jacobs would be pleased.
- Read the profile of Graeme Stewart
- Read the profile of Sabina Ali
- More about the Jane Jacobs Prize
- Listen to the interview with Graeme and Sabina on “Metro Morning” / CBC Radio
- Come to the ceremony honouring the 2014 recipients
– text by Sarah B. Hood; photo by Chloe Ellingson