Vacated Favorite 



Jan 1 2014


New York City

Vacated reverse engineers Google Street View to highlight the changing landscape of various neighborhoods throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. The project finds buildings constructed in the past four years using the NYC Department of City Planning's PLUTO dataset, and it leverages Google Street View's cache to visualize absent lots just before new buildings were constructed. For Envision 2017's website, the ages of other buildings on these same blocks are also shown in each scene.

Vacated mines and combines different datasets on vacant lots to present a sort of physical façade of gentrification, one that immediately prompts questions by virtue of its incompleteness: “Vacated by whom? Why? How long had they been there? And who’s replacing them?” Are all these changes instances of gentrification, or just some? While we usually think of gentrification in terms of what is new or has been displaced, Vacated highlights the momentary absence of such buildings, either because they’ve been demolished or have not yet been built. All images depicted in the project are both temporal and ephemeral, since they draw upon image caches that will eventually be replaced.

Ultimately, “Vacated” is a walking tour of the changing urban landscape during the Bloomberg administration— it depicts some obvious examples of dramatic change, but in the end, it's up to the viewer to decide whether this change represents widespread gentrification.

Posted by jw3837 on