Dynamic Boundaries

Hypothesis Statement:

The boundaries of a city are not fixed, they are dynamic. The hard edge boundary lines illustrated in traditional municipal maps do not reflect the lively nature of a city. By querying Foursquare “here/now” data and employing clustering algorithms, our prototype groups Foursquare venues together based on location and activity levels. By identifying and mapping these clusters through time, this tool helps to reveal the dynamic patterns and processes of boundary formation, mapping out opportunities for effective intervention.

 

Process Diagram

Are you Forming Neighborhoods in Chicago?

The city of Chicago maps out all different types of boundaries, but when it comes to neighborhoods the borders are up to residents. They are constantly changing, what a neighborhood is called, neighborhoods are broken into a number of smaller neighborhoods. How does all of this affect urban design? For example, in 1920, Edgewater was considered to be Uptown on the community area map.  In 1980, the Edgewater community council convinced the city to change this and draw a line between Edgewater and Uptown. Today, people consider Edgewater to consist of six communities, Edgewater, Edgewater Glen, Magnolia Glen, Edgewater Beach, Andersonville, Lakewood, Balmoral. These are neighborhoods within neighborhoods.  How can we use data and the public, users of these neighborhoods, to help us understand the changing boundaries and needs of city? An original survey was done in 1978, asking residents what they call their own neighborhoods, listed 178 neighborhoods, what would this look like today?

The point is that neighborhoods are not homogenous boundaries, they are constantly changing.  The first map shows hard boundaries lines for neighborhoods when in reality these are blurred. The second map start to illustrate the soft edges of boundaries through race and ethnicity.

1978 survey of neighborhoodsmap 1

Source:

http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/question-answered-how-are-chicago-neighborhoods-formed-103831