Deborah Marton, (former) executive director of the Design Trust, presents our High Performance Landscape Guidelines at the AIA Center for Architecture in 2011.

Photo: Chris Kannen

20 years, 20 champions. Each instrumental in Design Trust's lasting impact on NYC's public realm. Each another journey.

Hear each champion's story, one every day here on our blog, culminating with a grand celebration on October 14, at Christie's. While enjoying a festive evening of music by AndrewAndrew, cocktails by Templeton Rye, custom photo shoots, hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction of art and design objects, you'll also meet the 20/20 Public Space Champions in person.

Join us to celebrate our champions, who have tirelessly been working to improve the daily lives of New Yorkers for two decades. Jumpstart the next 20 years of urban innovation by buying a ticket to the gala today.


Thirteen years ago, a young landscape architect was awarded a Fellowship from the Design Trust to work on the second phase of our park project in Staten Island called Threshold of Eib's Pond. Today, that landscape architect leads one of New York City's most important nonprofit organizations greening our city, Bette Midler's New York Restoration Project. Meet Deborah Marton. 

In between her time as a Design Trust Fellow and taking the helm of NYRP, Deborah also happened to become the Design Trust's first outside executive director in 2005. Deborah shepherded a number of influential projects during her tenure, most notably the creation of the city's first sustainable design guidelines for all of NYC's parkland, the  influential international ideas competition to reinvent Grand Army Plaza, and our groundbreaking initiatives to redesign the NYC taxicab and system

Deborah's current project at NYRP has been making the news lately for its approach  – her Haven Project aims to improve the health of South Bronx residents through a holistic greening effort that will connect a set of open spaces in Mott Haven and Port Morris.

Her extraordinary leadership of the Design Trust, and her lifelong dedication to public space in NYC are why Deborah Marton is one of our public space champions. Come toast her and all our champions on Wednesday night at our 20th Anniversary Party

Public space is vital because it offers a chance to share joy.

Deborah Marton