Image via Scherbon.com
A new series of maps visualizes the income inequality in major cities around the world, including Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. Created by Austrian designer Herwig Scherabon, the “post-apocalyptic” images, part of the Atlas of Gentrification, utilize a matrix of blocks to depict the stark financial disparities between the wealthy and the poor in modern cities: the taller the building (or block), the higher the income in the area.
Los Angeles visualization. Image via Scherbon.com
According to the Economic Policy Institute, New York was ranked one of the most unequal states in 2013. In that year, the top one percent earned 45.4 times the income of the bottom 99 percent on average – due, in part, to the growing financial sector of the greater New York City metropolitan area. The middle class is also shrinking as a result.
Chicago visualization. Image via Scherbon.com
New York City visualization. Image via Scherbon.com
Interestingly, the income gap tends to correlate with ethnic segregation, as noted by Scherabon who spent time in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. With his work, he hopes to inspire viewers to examine urban planning politics and think critically about the reasons why inequality might exist.
“I am always fascinated by the patterns and correlations in the urban fabric. The politics behind urban planning tell us a lot about the people who live in these places and the powers who shape them. I think that it is utterly important to try to unveil the inequalities and the segregating mechanism that we got used to live with,” he writes on his website.
“The Atlas of Gentrification” is a collection of graphs, data visualizations, and maps dealing with gentrification and other related issues. For more information, click here.
Next, check out Judgmental Maps Offers Uncensored Insight Into America’s Greatest Cities and see other fun maps of New York City.