Analyzing health and environmental metrics for New York City. A project by New York Restoration Project and the Spatial Information Design Lab.


New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is developing a master plan to renovate a network of open spaces in Mott Haven and Port Morris in the South Bronx. Over the next several years, NYRP will fund the renovations and build them. The project aims to demonstrate measurable health and social outcomes resulting from an improved physical environment at the neighborhood scale. For example, one hypothesis is that by improving access to Randall’s Island, residents’ physical activity will increase with a correlative decrease in health care costs. As a first step, we will capture baseline health data and quality of life indicators which we will track as the project progresses.

Through the maps and charts on this site we attempt to analyze and compare different parts of New York City according to specific health, demographic and environmental metrics.


The metrics on this first map serve to compare different neighborhoods in New York City. We used three types of measurements:

To view each metric click on the tabs on the upper-right-hand side.


The chart below compares each of New York's Community Districts based on the same metrics illustrated on the map. For a list of what neighborhoods are included in each community board you can click on this link. Highlighted is Community Board 1 from the Bronx, which includes the neighborhoods of Port Morris and Mott Haven (in addition to Melrose) which are the primary objects of this study.

To toggle between the different metrics click on the different circles on the top part of the graph.


This detailed view of Mott Haven and Port Morris shows each environmental and demographic metric at a more detailed scale. In addition, you can see how implementing the Randall's Island Connector - an NYCEDC project - will change the distance to open spaces metric for the neighborhood.

To view the different metrics click on the upper-right-hand side tabs.


With the addition of the Randall's Island Connector and with the proposed improvements by NYRP, the neighborhood's access to large open spaces will greatly increase. In addition, the amount of green space - trees and grass - will also improve, allowing the residents of Mott Haven and Port Morris to exercise more and spend more time outdoors. In this graph, access to parks is calculated based on the percentage of the neighborhood within a 15 minute walk to a park that's 6 acres or larger.

These improvements - in addition to providing the residents with more open space and better access to parks - will also help reduce cardiovascular diseases and improve the mental health of the residents.


The data for this project comes from multiple sources:

A lot of the research in this site comes from lengthy discussions with the people involved in the Haven Project, specially Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, the Montefiore Medical Center and HealthxDesign. Also, thanks to Jonathan Izen for his work on processing the data.


For more information about this visualization contact Juan Francisco Saldarriaga at For more information on The Haven Project contact Casey Peterson at