The Spatial Information Design Lab is now the Center for Spatial Research at Columbia University. Visit our new site at to find out about current projects and upcoming events. This site is an archive of work completed up to 2014.

NYRP - The Haven Project

NYRP - The Haven Project


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.

This project includes maps and charts that analyze and compare different parts of New York City according to specific health, demographic and environmental metrics. 

We used three types of measurements:

  • Environmental, which include tree and grass coverage, pollution levels (PM 2.5) and walking distance to recreational spaces measuring 6 acres or more.
  • Health, including asthma rates, self-reported exercise in the previous 30 days, and overweight percentages.
  • Demographics, which include percentage of the population living below the poverty line, percentage of the population younger than 18 and 65 or older, and percentage of the population having attained only high-school or less.
Project Team

Principal Investigator: Laura Kurgan

Project Lead and Data Visualization: Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

Research Assistant: Jonathan Izen

Funding:  Knight Foundation

Types: Data visualization, Mapping, tagged: gis, data visualization