A Constellation


The NYC Department of Buildings has released another on-line tool. This one provides a fast summary of permits, complaints, inspections by the DoB, violations, and construction accidents for every building in the city, accessible by a map. If you click on the screenshot above, you’ve got the entire city, as I zoomed way out. I don’t know why the decision was made to go with a dark background, but it certainly looks nice.

At first glance it may look like every building is highlighted, but that’s not correct. Only buildings that have one of the categories of action I mentioned are in aqua. Here’s a close up centered on our office:



If you click on that to expand it, you can see the black outlines of buildings that don’t have any actions against the near-black generic background. (For example, there’s a black building directly under the word “STONE” in “STONE STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT” right of center.

In Manhattan, building with actions far outnumber those without. In the overall view, you can see the total: 128,056 buildings with actions out of the roughly million buildings in the city. So a little over one eighth of the buildings had an action. If you look at the overall view, there are lighter areas where more buildings are highlighted. Those areas correspond to (a) the most densely built-up parts of the city, where a lot of construction is going on and a lot of violations are issued, (b) hot neighborhoods, where a lot of new construction and alterations are taking place, and (c) areas with the worst building stock and/or worst building owners, where a lot of violations are issued. Boring middle-class neighborhoods are under-represented.

The information for any given building was already available at the DoB website if you searched by address rather than by using a map. So this is a repackaging of information. But mostly, it looks very cool.

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