Honoring Visionaries Who Inspire Great Places
The Urban Land Institute J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development was established to recognize an individual, or a person representing an institution, whose career demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of responsible development.
The $100,000 prize honors the legacy of legendary Kansas City, Missouri, developer Jesse Clyde Nichols (1880−1950), a founding ULI member who is widely regarded as one of America’s most influential entrepreneurs in land use during the first half of the 20th century.
2014 Nichols Laureate: Dr. Judith Rodin
Dr. Judith Rodin has been chosen as the 2014 recipient of the Nichols Prize, the Institute’s highest honor, for her leadership in the revival of the neighborhood surrounding the University of Pennsylvania and for her current leadership of The Rockefeller Foundation’s efforts to create healthy, thriving communities worldwide.
Dr. Rodin’s work as president of The Rockefeller Foundation is rooted in the West Philadelphia Initiatives, an extraordinary neighborhood revitalization program she led while serving as the president of the University of Pennsylvania from 1994 to 2004. Under Dr. Rodin’s leadership, Penn became more integrated into the community through a strategy designed as an interlocking series of programs to address the area’s security, education, housing and economic development needs, with the university taking the lead role at developer and facilitator. The West Philadelphia Initiatives received a ULI Award for Excellence in 2003.
History of the Nichols Prize
The Nichols Prize, endowed by the family of J.C. Nichols, honors the legacy of the legendary Kansas City, Missouri, developer. A founding ULI member, J.C. Nichols is widely regarded as one of America’s most influential entrepreneurs in land use during the first half of the 1900s.
Nichols pioneered the development of sustainable, mass-market residential neighborhoods built for permanence, and automobile-oriented shopping centers. The Country Club district, a model residential community; Country Club Plaza, a 77-year-old shopping center and multiuse development; and numerous well-preserved suburban communities south of downtown Kansas City attest to his enduring legacy in that city.
Vincent Scully, 2003 laureate of the Nichols Prize, said of J.C. Nichols, “There is no one involved with the American city who does not owe J.C. Nichols a debt for his vision and method in the planning and development of residential communities. His example has helped this generation to take on that basic program intelligently once again.”