What Am I Looking At?


The map records new construction in the Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods of Brooklyn, New York (since 1990). Dots represents buildings and appear chronologically by year of their finished construction.
Some things to notice:
  • The tendency of new buildings to appear in clusters
  • The location of new clusters
  • The dramatic scope of the reconstruction

What does this mean?

To put it simply, Crown Heights & Bed-Stuy are being rewritten spatially—though some construction is, of course, necessary to keep a neighborhood vibrant and up-to-date, the speed at which buildings Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy are being built points to what is essentially an invasion. This is the first step in the often discussed phenomenon of gentrification. By looking at space, we can see how gentrification is a process in both space and time, as well as a racial and economic phenomenon. The process of gentrification is not the flipping of a switch, but rather a slow, mechanical procedure that takes decades to get off the ground.

Let’s break this process down>