John van Nostrand receives the Jane Jacobs Prize

Architect and urban designer John van Nostrand of Toronto was recently awarded the Jane Jacobs prize for his work and ideas on housing and urbanism over the past 25 years.

A partner in the Toronto firm architectsAlliance, van Nostrand’s current projects includes a master plan for Seaton, a proposed town of 45,000 to 60,000 people northeast of Toronto near Pickering in addition to several award-winning housing projects. Other projects in the Toronto area include the Ashbridge’s Bay Treatment Plant Site Design, and alternatives to tearing down the Gardiner Expressway.

Van Nostrand’s experience as a professional extends to work in the area of international development. His office maintains a staff in Ghana where he is continuing to work on several projects relating to capacity building and infrastructure development.

The Jane Jacobs Prize was created to honour those who live in Toronto and who are actively contributing to the vibrancy of the city. The prize is named in honour of Toronto resident, activist and author, Jane Jacobs and has been awarded every year since 1997, when it was announced at the well-known conference entitled “Jane Jacobs: Ideas That Matter.” Last year’s winner was Margie Zeidler (2003), president and founder of 401 Richmond Limited, an urban community of artists and entrepreneurs, located in the old garment district in the Spadina and Richmond area of downtown Toronto.

Recipients of the Jane Jacobs Prize are identified through a process of anonymous nominations that identify potential candidates. A committee comprised of the Ideas That Matter advisory members makes the final selection. Each candidate must live and work in Toronto; be active in the community in an exceptional manner; be modest and relatively unknown to the general public; and of course, must be making a contribution to the community that provides for a model for others to follow.

Sponsored by Avana Capital Corp., the Jane Jacobs Prize is worth $15,000. The recipient of the Jane Jacobs Prize receives $5,000 each year for three years to spend in any manner they choose. In addition to the cash award, each recipient is invited to meet twice yearly with Jane Jacobs and previous prize recipients to discuss their experiences and knowledge of what makes the city work.