Leading global advocate for truly equitable, affordable, and sustainable housing receives prestigious real estate, land use, and development honor.
One of the housing industry’s most respected practitioners of green, affordable, and mixed-income community development, Jonathan F.P. Rose has been named the 2021 recipient of the ULI Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development, the most prestigious and respected honor in the land use and development community.
The $100,000 ULI Prize, in its 22nd year, recognizes an individual who has made a distinguished contribution to community building globally, who has established visionary standards of excellence in the land use and development field, and whose commitment to creating the highest-quality built environment has led to the betterment of society.
Rose, a longtime ULI Trustee, is founder and president of New York–based Jonathan Rose Companies LLC (JRCo), a national mission-driven real estate development, planning, and investment firm. Rose Companies has long been a leader in green building practices, and enhancing the social, health and educational opportunities for residents through its Communities of Opportunity programming.
As far back as the early 1980s when much of the industry was prioritizing suburban development, Rose proposed mixed-use, mixed-income, green transit-oriented urban development. His 2017 book, The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life, has informed urban planning thinking from Sao Paolo to Bhutan, where he is helping to guide the nation’s regional and urban planning.
“Jonathan personifies what it means to be an innovative and socially responsible real estate developer,” said W. Edward Walter, global chief executive officer of ULI. “Through his work Jonathan has shown how to create inclusive, sustainable communities that provide residents with equal access to opportunity, environmental quality, health and well-being. Just as important, Jonathan has always been willing to share his experiences and expertise with other ULI members helping to further the delivery of our mission.”
“I am deeply honored to have been selected to join the previous distinguished laureates who have received this prize,” Rose said. “The Urban Land Institute has long been the leading global force for best practices in real estate and community development. The planning and development of the right kind of communities are essential if we are to have a fair and just – and therefore, sustainable – society. Every element of opportunity, such as access to great schools, healthcare, good work and safety, is place-based. I hope that this award will help shed a light on the ways that we can build and rebuild communities of opportunity that are affordable, safe, green and socially just.”
Since founding JRCo in 1989, Rose has developed, acquired and redeveloped or preserved more than 100 affordable and mixed-income, multi-use developments throughout the United States, often in partnership with nonprofit organizations and housing agencies. He is a long-time advocate for transit-oriented, mixed-income communities as a means of improving the health of both families and the environment. Rose was among the first real estate developers to make green building a priority in the development of affordable housing.
Rose is a passionate evangelist for communities of opportunity. Rose observes that access to opportunity is too often determined by one’s zip code. “There are zip codes in which a person will statistically live to their 80s that may be only one mile away from ones in which people statistically live to their early 60s. If the United States, or any nation, is to truly be a land of opportunity, it must equalize the quality and ease of access to the contributing elements of opportunity.”
Elaborating, Rose said that these elements include schools, health care, social services, culture activities, trees, parks and biodiversity, freedom from environmental toxins and more. “We know how to do this,” said Rose. “As my inspiration, Jim Rouse said, ‘we just need the will to make it so.’”
The range of the Rose Companies activities is wide, from the creation of Sendero Verde, an entirely new 700 home development community in Harlem, in partnership with L+M Development Partners and the Acacia Network, to the upcoming purchase, preservation and rehabilitation of Jackson Park Terrace, a 40-year-old affordable housing complex in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood, across the street from of the planned Obama Presidential Center that will help maintain affordable housing in the neighborhood.
Sendero Verde, which will house a mix of families from the formerly homeless to those with middle range incomes, is the largest passive house project in construction in North America. As well as meeting rigorous green guidelines for health from Enterprise Green Communities, it includes a Harlem Children’s Zone Pre-kindergarten 8th grade school, a wide range of social, educational and job training services provided by Union Settlement, a community arts center, four community gardens and an extraordinary public plaza, planted with biodiverse indigenous species.
“Jonathan is a true ally in the quest to create more inclusive cities,” said ULI Prize Jury Chair and ULI Trustee Leslie Woo, chief executive officer for CivicAction, Ontario, Canada. “He saw the need for equitable, sustainable communities long before most in the industry, and he has constantly addressed it through his work. Even with all his accomplishments, Jonathan continues to evolve, striving to make a difference and raise the bar for himself and all of us.”
Other 2021 ULI Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development jury members included Maurice Cox, commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), City of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; Candace Damon, vice chairman, HR&A Advisors, Brooklyn, New York; Chris Frampton, chief executive officer, East West Partners, Denver, Colorado; and former ULI Global Chair Randy Rowe, chairman, Green Courte Partners, Chicago, Illinois.
The ULI Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development was established in 2000 through a gift by the Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation to the ULI Foundation. Recent winners have included former Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams; Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena; Chicago artist and urban planner Theaster Gates; Boston transportation entrepreneur Robin Chase; and Singaporean architect and urban planner Dr. Cheong Koon Hean. This year, Rose will be honored as the Prize laureate and will be a featured speaker at ULI’s Fall Meeting, which will be held in person and virtually in Chicago from October 11-14.
Look for an in-depth interview with Jonathan F.P. Rose in the upcoming edition of Urban Land.