Brooklyn, New York’s Gowanus district is, like so many neighbourhoods in the borough, facing rapid changes. The area’s namesake, the Gowanus Canal, a polluted waterway from the 19th century, has been earmarked for a publicly funded cleanup initiative that will inevitably lead to gentrification and rising land-use costs. To give residents a voice during these uncertain times, Gowanus by Design, a local non-profit co-founded by architect David Briggs, created the Gowanus Atlas website. The digital atlas includes a detailed map of the region, with stories and anecdotes about its history. It also has a data repository that will soon store up-to-date information on air quality, environmental changes and access to affordable food and housing. Finally, it is a public forum: Residents can submit videos expressing their aspirations for the neighbourhood – or their anxieties about what the future holds. You can think of the site as a museum, a data portal and a town hall, all in one virtual location.
Project Gowanus Atlas Firm Loci Architecture, U.S. Team David Briggs with Elise McCurley and Benjamin Wellington