It’s time to think about gardening–a seasonal rite that’s something of a challenge for most city-dwellers. Living Lots NYC is a clearinghouse of information that New Yorkers can use to turn vacant land into community spaces. Begun as a pilot project that ran from 2011 to 2015, which led to the to the official transformation of 32 vacant lots, Living Lots NYC was created by community organization 596 Acres as a database that New Yorkers can use to find, unlock, and protect the shared resource of the city’s vacant lots. According to the map, at this particular moment, there are 877 sites throughout 626 acres of vacant public land, 18 sites on 8 acres of private land opportunities, and 559 sites on 211 acres to which people have access.
DOB Elevator Report reveals the ups and downs of NYC’s 84,000+ elevator parts and where to find them, Fri, April 13, 2018
The DOB’s interactive maps show where all the elevators are, above in 3D
Again taking a look at New York City one tiny, moving part at a time: New York City has the world’s oldest population of elevators, and more elevator devices–over 84,000–than any other city in North America. The NYC Department of Buildings Elevator Report 2017 brings us an overview of the city’s elevator stock, including interactive maps that show which neighborhoods have the most elevators, elevator history, and, trust us, much more. That big number includes dumbwaiters, escalators, freight elevators, passenger elevators, private elevators, permanent amusement rides, personnel hoists (used for construction), sidewalk elevators and wheelchair lifts.
As of this week, New York City is home to 7,342 sidewalk sheds, totaling nearly 270 miles of sprawling eye-sores. Although this may sound like a lot, the number of sidewalk sheds has actually decreased from last year, when the Department of Buildings found over 7,700 sidewalk sheds throughout the city. The DOB on Wednesday released a new map highlighting the exact location of permitted sidewalk sheds. The map, which will update automatically in real-time, has a new feature that allows users to search sidewalk sheds by age, borough, community board and permit applicant.
With the National Weather Service now predicting up to 18 inches of snow for NYC, this handy web app will make storm groupies happy with future and current weather conditions in animated form. It’s all here in the Ventusky web application, developed by Pilsen-based Czech meteorological company InMeteo in collaboration with Marek Mojzík and Martin Prantl. The fascinating app displays meteorological data from around the world so you can monitor weather development for any place on earth and waver between complete denial and the thrill of a good natural disaster ahead of–and during–today’s Winter Storm Toby.
This January, the Landmarks Preservation Commission released a series of amendments that would overhaul how the commission reviews certain applications–with the idea to cut down the time it takes to approve routine applications. And later this month, on Tuesday, March 27th, the Commission will hold a public hearing on how these changes would affect the city’s landmark process. In advance of the meeting, the Municipal Art Society of New York created a pair of interactive maps to better inform New Yorkers on the LPC’s process. One map, the Commission Review Map, shows what type of alterations have been permitted or denied by the full LPC commission. The other, the Staff Review Map, shows what type of alterations have been permitted by the LPC staff or withdrawn by the applicant. As MAS puts it, “We hope these maps help bring to light how the LPC fulfills its ‘purpose of safeguarding the buildings and places that represent New York City’s cultural, social, economic, political, and architectural history’ through regulation.”
Image via onedollarlots.org
If you live in New York City, and you’re hoping to own–or trying to buy–property, you might not want to hear about vacant lots being given away for $1. But this is really a thing: An interesting little map courtesy of the One Dollar Lots project by 596 acres shows us where in New York City, according to Untapped Cities, city-owned lots of land have been sold to developers for $1 since the current mayor took office in January 2014. These $1 deals often happen as token transactions as part of a development incentive for prospective buyers, who will eventually need to prove they possess plans and the means to carry out their vision.
Screenshot from realmta.info at approximately 3pm on Wednesday, March 7th (during the impending nor’easter)
There’s been a lot of recent attention about the deterioration of the New York City subway, both in ridership and service. And, in the past, the subway map has done little more than inspire some cool art. Real-time information that could be very useful to riders, like a major delay or line shutdown, is only accessible “live” once you have already swiped your card and arrived on the subway platform. What good is it then? Now, thanks to web developer Eric Markfield, from Unfounded Labs, the Real MTA map, “a realistic subway map,” provides an up-to-the-minute, visual representation of any delays, service changes or planned work (h/t Curbed).
What could go better together than feminism and food delivery? Thanks to Grubhub, the online takeout service, hungry New Yorkers can now easily order from women-run restaurants. The company on Tuesday launched an app called RestaurantHER that aims to empower and promote women chefs and owners, who are often underrepresented and underpaid in the restaurant industry. Available nationwide, the app includes a map that looks similar to Grubhub’s typical page, but only highlights restaurants owned or co-owned by a woman or a kitchen led by a woman executive chef.
Photo via Jeffrey Zeldman’s Flickr
While amenities like on-site laundry and air conditioning are big selling points in New York City rentals, the building’s proximity to the subway remains one of the most important factors when looking for new digs. And like other amenities, there is an added cost to live near the subway. New data from RentHop breaks down how much renters can save by living further from the subway in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. According to their report, as Curbed NY reported, apartments closest to the subway cost 6 to 8 percent more than the borough median, with the furthest costing 8 to 10 percent less.
The omnipresence of artificial light, brilliant in its intentions, has become as much of a nuisance as a blessing in cities where we almost can’t tell night from day. Enter global light pollution. Is there any escape? The bright lights get in the way of astronomy–and affect animals and plants (who can’t just pull the shades down). Scientists are looking to “dark sky” initiatives to protect areas unscathed by light pollution; there are now dark-sky-designated areas in North America, South America and Europe. Interactive dark sky maps, courtesy of Esri, show where on Earth one might find respite from the glare–and where it’s at its most intense.