PROJECT: data visualization, maps as media coursethe new school

ADVISOR: shannon mattern

YEAR: 2017

LOCATION: new york, ny

THEMES: critical cartography, data visualization, urban renewal, mapping temporality






data visualization

maps as media course

the new school

shannon mattern


new york, ny

critical cartography, data visualization, urban renewal, mapping temporality

Urban renewal, while commonly referred to as the federal urban renewal program between 1949 and 1974, is not ancient history but is still a factor in changing the physical and social form of our city. In fact, 59 of all urban renewal plans by the City (or 40%) were adopted after the federal program had ended.


This “geographical time line” or ”time map” presents all 151 urban renewal plans ever adopted by the City per year of their adoption (y-axis) and size in square feet (x-axis). The plans are further color-coded according to the five boroughs in which they are situated. A selected number of plans are displayed alongside the bars and compared in their size.


Together, this information allows to understand the emergence and development of urban renewal in a temporal and spatial sense. It becomes visible that the five boroughs have been targeted to different extents and at different times. Urban renewal was clearly concentrated in Manhattan in its beginning phase. Since then it has been diversified geographically.