Photo via Ted McGrath on Flickr
Thousands of wooden water tanks in New York City have not been properly inspected and cleaned for years, according to an investigation by City & State. And while the water towers have been an iconic part of the city skyline for over a century, the structures make it easy for pathogens and even dead animals to congregate and infiltrate the city’s drinking water. According to the report, most building owners do not inspect and clean water tanks on a regular basis, despite newly updated health codes that require annual filings. City & State mapped more than 13,000 water tank inspection reports from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), letting the public know for the first time if and when a building’s tank has been inspected and whether bacteria was found. Last year, just over 3,520 buildings with water tanks filed proof of inspection.
Has your building’s water tank been inspected?
Map: NYC Planning Metro Region Explorer.
As a beta project created by the NYC Department of City Planning, Metro Region Explorer enables you to explore population, housing, and employment trends within the Tri-State New York City Metropolitan Region. The map was developed as part of an ongoing commitment to providing better public access and as a way to better understand information about planning issues that affect the city as well as the region, as many planning challenges are interconnected with the realities of the larger area surrounding the city’s core.
Explore the region
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on Wednesday launched a new interactive web map that displays applications and permits for work on individual, interior and scenic landmarks, as well as buildings in historic districts. Permit Application Finder users can search by community district and work type, allowing the public to see geographically where LPC has issued permits for the first time.
“LPC reviews and approves thousands of permit applications for work on designated properties each year, and with this map, information on all of these projects is just a click away,” LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said in a statement. “It is an excellent example of how we are leveraging technology to make our regulatory process more efficient and transparent.”
More details here
A snippet of McLean’s Astor Place smell map
All the rain this weekend in New York City stunk. Do sunny days stink too? Kate McLean can give us the definitive answer. McLean, a Ph.D. candidate at the Royal College of Art in London, has created an extensive system of urban “smellscape” maps based on her olfactory research. For instance, after studying her Astor Place, pedestrians are much better off walking north and south on 2nd Avenue, which smells of floral perfume and grass, versus walking up and down Broadway, which is loaded with eau de subway exhaust.
So what’s NYC’s smelliest hood?
All animations and screenshots courtesy of Justin Fung/Manhattan Population Explorer
There are two million people who reside in Manhattan, but during the workday, thanks to the overwhelming number of commuters, the number of people on the island doubles to four million. This is the highest ratio of daytime-to-nighttime population anywhere in the country. To show how this population pulses over the course of a day, data visualization designer and researcher Justin Fung created the interactive Manhattan Population Explorer. First picked up by Fast Co. Design, the map highlights just how many people fill each city block for 24 hours. The height of crowdedness comes between 12 and 3pm, during which time, unsurprisingly, Midtown and Lower Manhattan show populations nearing 13,000. During the day, these ‘hoods see their populations jump by 10 and four times respectively.
See what’s going on with the rest of the island
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.
Check out the city’s green opportunities
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.
This way for more maps and facts
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.
Explore the map
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.
See what’s coming
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.”
Get the details