Mapped: Hong Kong’s Public Steps

The photos I posted last week of Hong Kong’s hilly streets reminded me of a conversation I had more than a year ago with Melissa Cate Christ, who works at the University of Hong Kong’s architecture school. Christ is leading an investigation into the many public staircases and “ladder streets” on the north side of […]

Talking About Cities Without Ground

Hong Kong isn’t an easy city to navigate. That’s because so much of it exists out of sight: above your head, under your feet, around the corner in a dingy shopping mall. It’s what architect Jonathan Solomon calls a three-dimensional city. “There are all these attempts to map Hong Kong, but most of them are […]

Posted in: Architecture, Asia Pacific, Books, History, Interior Space, Maps, Public Space, Society and Culture, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Talking About Cities Without Ground , , , , ,

The Nightless City

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKT3xTLDoCY[/youtube] Most people use Google Street View for directions; Yuichiro Tamura uses it to make movies. “I became interested in Street View’s images because they’re very anonymous,” says the 36-year-old Berlin-based Japanese artist. Never before has there been such an extensive and dispassionate repository of world scenes. “Nobody knows who takes them, and they aren’t […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Film, Maps, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on The Nightless City , , ,

Hong Kong’s Silence on Noise Pollution

Sogo Junction in Causeway Bay, where ambient noise levels can reach 118 decibels. Photo by James Shandlon After Karl Sluis’ richly-detailed map of New York City noise complaints was featured on The Atlantic Cities, my editor at the South China Morning Post got in touch about making a similar map for Hong Kong. Hong Kong […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Environment, Maps, Public Space, United States by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hong Kong’s Silence on Noise Pollution , , , , , , , , ,

Behind the Noise Map

If you read The Atlantic Cities, or follow our Twitter feed, you’ve probably seen Karl Sluis‘ map of the 40,412 noise complaints made last year in Manhattan. It’s a beautiful, richly-detailed effort to chart not only the geography of noise but more subtle variations in New York’s socio-economic landscape, like the fact that complaints about […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Environment, Maps, Public Space, United States by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Behind the Noise Map , , , , , , ,

The Greater Grid

Straight as an arrow: triptych along Lake Shore Drive, Chicago Last year, Manhattan celebrated the 200th anniversary of its vaunted grid street system, the rectilinear net that stretches from First Street in what’s now the East Village to 155th, in Washington Heights. And any assumption this was too dry a subject for most New Yorkers […]

Posted in: History, Maps, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on The Greater Grid , , , ,

The Unsquared Circle of Old Shanghai

Take a look at a map of Shanghai and it still jumps out at you — a tightly-wound ball of narrow streets threading through warrens of centuries-old houses. Call it what you will — the neighborhood seems to have no standard English name, and “Old City,” “Round City,” or simply “Old Shanghai” have been used […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, History, Maps by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on The Unsquared Circle of Old Shanghai , , , , ,

Elected by Ethnoburbia

Election results in Toronto in 2008 (top) and 2011 (bottom) Red is Liberal, blue is Conservative, orange is NDP Canada held its 41st federal election on Monday and the results have unleashed a seismic shift in the country’s political landscape. After two consecutive minority governments, the Conservatives have now won a majority. The left-wing NDP, […]

How Canada Votes, Street by Street

Election signs in Calgary, 2006 Canada is in the midst of yet another federal election, one that will, if the current trends hold steady, result in a third minority government for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. It’s a pretty dismal state of affairs. But even the most delicious truffle looks like a turd, so things might still […]

An Alternate Map of Manhattan

The original, ca. 1800 Mangin-Goerck Plan (top) and part of the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, as engraved by William Bridges Last month, New York celebrated the bicentennial of one of its most iconic works of engineering and urban design — Manhattan’s grid. The 1811 street layout was officially known as the Commissioners’ Plan, but its […]

Posted in: History, Maps, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on An Alternate Map of Manhattan , , , , ,

Seen and Unseen: Street View Meets Brazil

View Larger Map A colorful crossing in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro Google Street View has landed in Brazil, and its timing is probably no accident: it’s a momentous point in the country’s history. Latin America’s sleeping giant seems, at last, to be climbing into its proper place in the global pecking order: it’s an increasingly […]

Mapping Segregation

Four decades have passed since the end of formal racial segregation in the United States, but as anyone can tell you, informal segregation remains a part of everyday life in many areas of the country. That becomes especially clear when you look at Eric Fischer‘s new maps of race and ethnicity in major American cities. […]

Two Cities’ Scale Models

Virtual World: The future of China’s largest city is on bombastic display at the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre Set in the seclusion of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, well inside the largest of New York’s outer boroughs, the Queens Museum of Art doesn’t attract the same blockbuster number of international visitors as the megamuseums and power […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Maps, Politics, Society and Culture, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Two Cities’ Scale Models , , , , , ,

Locals vs. Tourists

Montreal We’ve always known there is a gulf between the city as experienced by tourists and the city lived in by locals. Now we have a fun visual representation of that divide. Using various types of data from Flickr, one user of the photo-sharing website, Eric Fisher, has created maps that indicate the spots photographed […]