A group calling themselves New Urban Industrial created a project about Brooklyn’s waterfronts.
In their words:
The purpose of this project is to create an online comparison tool that spatially plots the manufacturing territories within the Significant Maritime Industrial Areas of Brooklyn and Queens in order to demonstrate their zoning implications, environmental impact, hard infrastructure, and community infrastructure systems. This tool enables these multiple elements within the three main sites of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Gowanus and Newtown Creeks waterways to be compared to one another, allowing for analysis of industrial zones.
Similar to the Rethink the Block project 3, group members focused efforts on centralizing data for their themes. Data collection and analyses were done separately along the lines of these themes.
Some data was not immediately accessible and was processed before use:
In addition to the many of maps, which include data on watersheds, TRIs and brownfields, transportation routes, this project also contributes an important data set: a map of the locations for all the community organizations in four different community boards. This information had previously existed separately in non-machine-readable formats (PDFs, searchable web pages, etc), and therefore was neither easily accessible, nor georeferenced. By creating a georeferenced data set for all this information and crafting an interactive map, it reveals a spatialized view of their density among their neighboring community boards. This project has created a valuable and accessible resource not only for the community boards, but, more importantly, for the communities themselves. The available technology of GIS mapping may serve as an important community agency tool. It should be noted though, this tool has its limits in that it is only able to show the “parceled” information which not always reflects accurately the complex urban dynamics on the ground.
Once the data was collected for each of the themes, the themes were displayed together via three maps (one for each of the waterfront segments being considered). Here the group describes the reasoning behind this choice:
The initial goal of the project was to visually bring together three disparate sites. The sites are of interest because each are particularly reflective of the physical and social impacts of postindustrialism in New York City. Newtown Creek is one of the most polluted waterways in the country due to the decades of industrial waste dumping that has been allowed; The Gowanus Canal is also a historical dump site, and like Newtown Creek, has a large amount of brownfield areas. Furthermore, the air space around this community is especially polluted due to the dense truck traffic on the Gowanus Expressway and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Finally, The Brooklyn Tech Triangle, an area between Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo and the Brooklyn Navy Yard designated by the city to attract manufacturing and tech companies, is in desperate need of a more organized, local social infrastructure as ‘outsiders’ create pressure to radically change the real estate and labor divisions in the area. It is crucial that members of these communities have access to information regarding physical dangers and complexities in their neighborhoods, as well as existing social framework opportunities in order to become more prominent actors in the changes taking place in their area. Since each site shares almost all of these postindustrial complications in some capacity, we decided that it would be more informative if we showed detailed maps of the area side by side, so these relationships could be succinctly and comprehensively understood by the viewer.
The final site uses CartoDB to host the data and maps and required some programming to get the maps to work together within the themes. There is a preview below, and the site is available @ urbanindustrial.neocities.org.
The group listed the following data sources:
- CB Brooklyn 1
- CB Brooklyn 2
- CB Brooklyn 6
- Open data NYC
- NYC Mayor’s office of Environmental Remediation
- NYC Department of Transportation
- NYC Department of Planning
- NYCGIS Clearinghouse