Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Very Different City

Posted by Caitlin Endyke

The New York papers have been filled with tributes to former mayor Ed Koch since his death on February 1st.  He served as mayor from 1978 to 1989, and was a controversial figure- one who is credited for saving New York City from bankruptcy but who also largely ignored the AIDS crisis ravaging the city at the same time.

I wasn’t alive for his tenure so I can’t speak at length about my impressions of him as a leader of the city, but I did find this interactive map, featured in the New York Times, quite interesting.  The map outlines the average incomes of New York residents by location, painting a picture of a very different city now than existed in 1980 as it shows a growing proportion of wealthy New Yorkers throughout the city since his tenure.  The map seems to suggest that Koch’s policies set this trend into motion (though Giuliani and Bloomberg can be credited for carrying the torch). New York City remains one of the places at the top of the list when it comes to income inequality in America, and this map visualizes an ever-increasing problem.  While the rich in New York continue to get richer, the poor not only continue to get poorer, but they also find themselves concentrated in only a few remaining pockets of affordable living spaces within the city’s limits. 

Head here to check out the map for yourself: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/02/01/nyregion/the-difference-between-kochs-city-and-today.html?ref=nyregion

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