Chicago Empowerment/Enterprise Zones overlaid on Chicago Community Area Map depicting "Hardship Index"

by Tyler R. 

This map is meant to visualize the Chicago Empowerment and Enterprise Zones in relation to community area. These zones have been overlaid on a map that ranks community area by "hardship index;" the hardship index is measure by a series of metrics such as: high school diploma holders, households living under the poverty line, percent unemployed, per capita income. The map depicts the community areas hardship index on a spectrum from green to red, or lowest level of hardship to the highest hardship index respectively. Visualization of this particular data set could enable the city and private investment of locations regions/zones that are underserved. The Chicago Empowerment and Enterprise Zones are meant to help "stimulate economic growth and neighborhood revitalization" in targeted zones. These Zones are part of a Federal/State/Local partnership that provides state and/or local tax incentives to private firms that expand or relocate into these zones. A more interesting map, if data were to be made available, would be to map specific Enterprise/Empowerment beneficiaries including the incentives they have received, their investments, and their hiring of individuals living in community areas with the highest hardship index.

Affordable Housing Study

by Alex R.

I am using this map as research tool for developing affordable housing. The map separates the various neighborhoods of Chicago in order to narrow down which areas are in the most need of affordable housing. The white circles identify the poverty levels of the given areas. The larger the circle is, the greater the poverty level is in the area. Lastly, there are smaller circles that are used to indicate where in Chicago there are affordable housing developments as well as murder cases. This combination of information will help developers locate areas that are in need of affordable housing while avoiding dangerous areas.

New Construction and What it Can Tell Us

by Molly R. (Links to an external site.)

New construction often pools in concentrated areas.  When new businesses and residents look at choosing a neighborhood, they often look at public amenities which may enrich their lives and their companies.  When new construction permits issued in 2016 (time-lapse in navy) are mapped, a clear trend is shown.  City parks (represented in yellow) and the lakefront ofter citizens additional living spaces outside of their homes.  Many of Chicago’s larger city parks and public spaces are also home to public works of art (represented in berry).  The draw of these amenities helps to illustrate the neighborhoods (mapped in light blue) which attract developers, business owners, and residents throughout the City of Chicago, leading to new construction. 


by Maria Q. (Links to an external site.)

This map illustrates data that have been collected by The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) regarding potholes on the streets of Chicago. I intend to connect the idea of the bicycle as a sense-able device, that helps to validate the received information through the 311 call center with the already existing procedures of the CDOT for identifying, categorizing, and repairing the different types of pavement problems.


The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) receives reports of potholes through the 311 call center and uses this information to create a mapping and tracking system to identify pothole locations and schedule crews most efficiently. Repairs are generally completed within 3 -6 days from the first report of a pothole to 311. But weather conditions and the location of the pothole may influence how long a repair takes.

Potholes are categorized by status. If the pothole has been already patched it is considered “completed” and if it hasn’t been patched it is considered “open”. When a report of a pothole is given in an exact location of a former report it receives a duplicate status. Both “completed” and “open” status can have duplicates.

Actions taken by the crew can vary depending on the situation encountered at each location. CDOT has a categorization for different types of pavement problems, potholes, cave-ins and failed utility cuts. Potholes are the only type of pavement problem that CDOT is responsible for repairing. If a cave-in or a failed utility cut is found, the responsibility of repairing is transferred to the respective utility company or contractor. Frequently, the crew arrives at the specified location and is not able to find the pothole that was reported. Both “transferred” and “not found” potholes are marked with a “completed” status.

End of the Line: Chicago Cemeteries and the Community

by Olive O.

In this map, I attempt to visualize the locations and density of currently existing cemeteries in Cook County, IL, and cross-refernce that data with on-going public housing development projects within Chicago in order to speculate the possibility of future relocation of nearby cemeteries due to rising housing crisis. One can see that as it gets closer to the City center, the number of cemeteries decreases to virtually non-existent at the Loop and surrounding areas. There are still some larger cemeteries locating on the north and northwest side of the city, as well as one on the south side at 67th Street & Cottage Grove (Oakwoods Cemetery). The north side cemeteries are near a clutter of public housing projects in Uptown, and the south side cemetery is adjacent to public housing projects in Woodlawn. While both of these community areas face higher-than-average rates of poverty, unemployment and crime, they also present great economic opportunities for future development. In addition, I overlay the vacant property report data (since 6/1/2016) to identify underutilized and underdeveloped community areas, and from there we can start to speculate if any of these vacancy could be used as alternative burial sites or storage for remains.

Cemeteries are not always the “final" resting place for human remains. Historically, cemeteries in the Chicago-area have always been prone to relocation due the expansion and development of the city, and sometimes the dead simply “gets in the way” of the living. According to industry surveys conducted by the National Funeral Directors Association, the year 2015 marks the first time ever that majority of Americans prefer cremation over burial; this indicates a shift in American funeral traditions and cultural norm. As the city expands and housing crisis continues on the rise, inner-city cemeteries are shrinking. When plans of modern developers clash with the increasing inevitability of relocating cemeteries, it’s important for architects and urban planners to ask: How do we plan for that?

Emissions, Consumption, and the Bill

by Olumide O.

This map shows the energy ratings of buidlings with the zip code starting 6060. It can be filtered to show CO2 emissions of the buildings, the addresses, the BTu consumptions and the consumption in KWh of each of the profiled buildings.

The range is measured from buildings with Energy ratings greater or equal to 50 to buildings with Energy ratings grater or equal to 90. A legend has been created to further explain the map.

Energetic Consumption

by Adrien L.

For this map, i choose to corroborate the food distribution within the city and it's energetic consumption. For the food distribution the addition of the grocery store and the farmers markets compare with the different food cart allow us to locate what we call "food desert".

I add a fourth layer regarding the average electrical consumption by scare feet by community. It could be interesting to compare those two factor, energy and food, to predict and locate the future potential of where new small scale urban farm could be implemented, and so the shape of what would be the city of the future.

Crime, Abandoned Homes, Abandoned Vehicles

by Dana H.

The map I chose to create is based the recent news I have been hearing about people coming from the city or elsewhere stealing cars from the suburbs and then taking them into the city to use in their crimes. Therefore, using this assignment I thought it would be interesting to see the effect this crime is being committed and if there was any previous data from the past year. I chose these three data sets because once the crime is committed the car is later found abandoned and in various parts of the city. The data demonstrated that the rate of crime is very high in the last year but amount of abandoned cars and 311 calls on abandoned or vacant building is about equal. I thought maybe once they were done using the cars for their crimes they would abandon the car near an abandoned building or house. Turns out however, it could just be a very random placement of the car.

Chicago Graffiti

by Josh H.

This map is using 3 layers to try to illustrate and conceive if there is a connection between them. So the following layers represent 1.) Graffiti reported in Chicago 2.) Crime over the past year and 3.) CTA bus stop throughout the city. The investigation to see if there is a correlation between bus stops throughout Chicago and the reported graffiti. And if reported graffiti results in less crime or more crime committed. My theory is that the graffiti reporting happens in more prominent areas of Chicago vs. less prominent because they are very conscious in the way their neighborhood looks. Maybe the more prominent areas have less crime then the others or maybe there is no correlation between the two and no bias. The map tries to illustrate all of these issues and information