Staying Power is a toolkit of research and proposals aimed at fostering a network of care to both prevent evictions and empower tenants who are in the process of being evicted. The project analyzes systems of eviction before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and uses nationwide health data to identify areas of extreme vulnerability. Building on this research, the toolkit is a set of interconnecting proposals designed specifically for the Bronx, addressing the eviction system at multiple leverage points using existing networks of care and a proposed team of Community Health Workers.
Ways of Knowing Cities considers the role of technology in generating, materializing, and contesting urban epistemologies—tracing an arc from ubiquitous sites of “smart” urbanism, to discrete struggles over infrastructural governance, to forgotten histories of segregation now naturalized in urban algorithms, to exceptional territories of border policing. Bringing together architects, urbanists, artists, and scholars of critical migration studies, media theory, geography, anthropology, and literature, the essays stage a deeply interdisciplinary conversation, interrogating the ways in which certain ways of knowing are predicated on the erasure of others.
Homophily: the Urban History of an Algorithm
Laura Kurgan, Dare Brawley, Jia Zhang, Brian House, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
An article in e-flux Architecture on the urban origins of the term homophily, its formalization and proliferation through the algorithmic logics of online networks, and the risks we run when it becomes not just a descriptive model but a prescriptive rule for social life. Published in conjunction with an exhibition for the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
A Gravity Model Analysis of Forced Displacement in Colombia
Juan Francisco Saldarriaga, Yuan Hua
Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning
An article analyzing internal displacement in Colombia was published in Cities in summer 2019. Between 1985 and 2016 more than 7 million people were victims of forced displacement in Colombia. At the height of the conflict, more than 90% of municipalities in the country saw some form of displacement. In this study we extend the traditional gravity model of migration to analyze the flows of internally displaced people in Colombia between 1986 and 2015, and identify some of the main factors involved in people's choice of destination.
Visualizing Conflict: Possibilities for Urban Research
Juan Francisco Saldarriaga
This article, published by the open access journal Urban Planning, outlines recent work as part of the multiyear Conflict Urbanism project. This article discusses two projects currently under way that use mapping and data visualization to explore and analyze Conflict Urbanism in two different contexts: the city of Aleppo, and the nation of Colombia. Both projects interrogate the world of ‘big data,’ as a means to open up new areas of research and inquiry, but with a particular focus on data literacy as an essential part of communicating with these new forms of urban information.
This article published by Yuca magazine describes the Conflict Urbanism: Colombia project. In it, Juan Francisco Saldarriaga describes how, having grown up in Colombia, working on this project has changed his understanding of the conflict. The article describes the maps, graphs, color pixels, and thickening lines that have shown the size and magnitude of the worst massacres, revealed the moments and events that caused stakeholders to change positions, and made evident the constant and painful journeys of the displaced and other victims.
In this article for Architectural Design, Laura Kurgan discusses the Conflict Urbanism: Aleppo project and its sometimes puzzling findings. One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on the planet, Aleppo now lies in tatters. This devastation of a designated World Heritage Site is a poignant example of the human and cultural cost of armed conflict – in this case the Syrian Civil War. The Center for Spatial Research has analyzed satellite imagery and reports from the ground to assess the damage in Aleppo.
Almost five years after the start of the civil war in Syria, Aleppo is still under siege. At the time of writing, in February 2016, the few roads into and out of the city are blocked. What are believed to be Russian warplanes have been targeting rebel-held neighborhoods in an effort to help President Bashar al-Assad regain control of the city. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed or injured, and an estimated nine million people have been displaced. Our research on Aleppo focuses on the urban cost of the civil war, and what it implies for the city to which survivors might one day return.
This project visualizes a relatively new phenomenon: online free expression in China. It examines some innovative strategies employed by users of Weibo, a Twitter–like micro–blogging platform, in order to avoid government censorship bloggers post images as text. Images are much more difficult for automated search programs to analyze, which allows image-based content to spread more widely before it is detected and removed. Taking advantage of this, some users now turning writing into images, taking screenshots of their own and others' controversial posts before they're removed, then posting and re–posting them. The project visualizes Weibo posts that were posted and deleted between September 8th to November 13th, in 2013.
This publication documents the pattern of incarceration in four cities in the United States: Phoenix, Wichita, New Orleans and New York. Building on work already done jointly by the Council of State Governments, the JFA Institute, and the Justice Mapping Center, the lab’s mapping project seeks to help advocates and government officials focus attention on the conditions and needs of urban spaces which show high rates of incarceration.
This publication documents the results of a Scenario Planning Workshop, hosted by SIDL and facilitated by the Global Business Network on September 29th, 2006. The workshop took place at the Architectural League of New York as part of the exhibit, Architecture and Justice which was on view from September through October, 2006.
Using rarely accessible data from the criminal justice system, the Spatial Information Design Lab and the Justice Mapping Center have created maps of these “million dollar blocks” and of the city-prison-city-prison migration flow for five of the nation’s cities. The maps suggest that the criminal justice system has become the predominant government institution in these communities and that public investment in this system has resulted in significant costs to other elements of our civic infrastructure — education, housing, health, and family. Prisons and jails form the distant exostructure of many American cities today.