project leader
David B
3rd Street and 2nd Avenue
Brooklyn (Gowanus)
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the project

The Gowanus Atlas is a dynamic, web-based interface that tells the story of the community around the Gowanus Canal, a neighborhood defined by its people, history, and diversity. The Atlas will give residents, business owners, organizations, activists, developers, and agencies access to quantitative and qualitative data about the area's rapidly changing conditions, its challenges, and the community's future. It is an active, living communal resource for connection, participation, and activism.

Initially, the Atlas will collect public data sets within the watershed, such as infrastructure, land use, flood zones, demographics, Superfund cleanup, etc., that tell the story of how the area developed and its current conditions. As it expands, we will conduct community outreach and add new data sets, such as sensory conditions, air quality, environmental contamination, displacement of affordable retail and youth resources, and access to healthy regional food options. Together with the public data sets, the Atlas will synthesize the area’s characteristics and visually explain in graphically-rich downloadable maps how complex urban, ecological, and sociological conditions define the neighborhood. Users can toggle the data sets on and off to curate and create their own maps.

As the Atlas develops over the next few years, it will use state-of-the-art data analytics to visualize the impact of changing conditions over increasing time spans: one year, ten years, fifty years. Not only will the Atlas provide a platform for understanding the complexities of a changing urban ecosystem, it will offer archival and historical value to the greater community who will be living with this urban regeneration for many years.

Please see our Suggested Donation section for giving levels. However, donations of any amount are welcome. The tax deductibility of your contribution may be affected by goods or services received. Please contact your financial advisor with questions regarding your donation.

the steps

1st Year

Step 1: Identify publicly available datasets that reflect conditions in the canal's watershed and finalize categories for the Atlas.

Step 2: Upload data to Atlas website and create a customized user interface that organizes data into five or six main categories: Hydrology, Ground, Infrastructure Systems, Social Landscape, Built Environment, etc.

Step 3: Add new customized data sets and user interaction features.

2nd Year and Beyond

Step 4: Conduct community outreach that gathers information unique to those who live and work in the watershed and upload it to the Atlas.

Step 5: Expand network of stakeholder interviews.

Step 6: Develop predictive models of the community's future based on Superfund cleanup, expected impacts of global warming, demographic shifts, and new infrastructure development.

why we're doing it

The timing of our Gowanus Atlas project is critical: the Gowanus neighborhood is undergoing rapid changes and will be a very different place once the Superfund cleanup is complete and the area rezoned. The surrounding communities will be heavily impacted by the influx of new residents, businesses, artists, traffic, construction, etc. Each community is grappling to understand how they will be affected.

Despite these challenges, we believe there is now a remarkable opportunity for the community to set a course for and give voice to its future. The Atlas will be an online archive where the conditions that define Gowanus can be accessed, shared, downloaded, and explored - it will facilitate a broader understanding of the community's relevance in the development of Brooklyn and contribution to rich cultural diversity. It will be a place to teach and learn about the neighborhood’s history, its character, and its potential for all those who care about how our cities will develop in the 21st century.


Disbursed Budget
Raised = $22,975.00
less ioby Platform Fee $35.00
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $668.16
Total to disburse = $22,271.84
Phase 1
• Initial Data Procurement, Selection, Processing: $ 4,500
• Create Interactive Web Atlas: $ 4,000
• Expansion of Atlas with customized datasets and one year of maintenance (as needed): $ 10,000
Phase 2
• Conduct community outreach: $ 2,271.84
• Expand network of stakeholder interviews: $ 1,500
Updated Budget (May 10, 2017)
Phase 1
Initial Data Procurement, Selection, Processing: $5,500
Create Interactive Web Atlas: $5,000
Expansion of Atlas with customized datasets and one year of maintenance (as needed): $12,000
Phase 2
Conduct community outreach: $3,000
Expand network of stakeholder interviews: $3,000
Subtotal = $28,500
ioby Donation Processing fee (3%) = $855
ioby Platform Fee = $35
Total to raise = $29,390
Original Budget
Phase 1 - 1st Year
Initial Data Procurement, Selection, Processing: $5,500
Create Interactive Web Atlas: $5,000
Expansion of Atlas with customized datasets and one year of maintenance (as needed): $12,000
Subtotal = 22,500
ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $675
Total to raise = $23,210


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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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