Whether you are taking the subway or trying to walk down the sidewalk, there is no avoiding construction in New York City. Being constantly surrounded by the sights and sounds of such construction, it’s normal to want to know what’s happening and if it will impact your neighborhood. In an effort to provide public transparency, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) has created a new interactive map that allows users to access specific information regarding ongoing current construction across New York City.
Launched in August 2018, the NYC Active Major Construction map provides real-time updates on the almost 200 million square feet of buildings currently under construction in NYC. Each dot on the map represents a major active construction site and links to online copies of the building permits. Click on any dot to find out detailed project information such as the name of the developer, contractor, cost of construction, size of the project, and much more. Users can easily filter and sort the data by building type, square footage, estimated cost, proposed dwelling units and more. For users not familiar with how to navigate the DOB’s online portal known as the BIS, which can be difficult if to use if you are not an avid user of their system, this new platform is a relief to the community and helps provide an additional level of transparence into the ongoing construction across the City.
The map is the latest in a series of interactive dashboards, reports, and data tools released by the DOB as part of their initiative to share data with the public. Earlier this year, the DOB released a real-time online map of sidewalk sheds.
The point of the NYC Active Major Construction tool is to make data that was previously hard to navigate for the average user, accessible and easier to understand. With data visualization more and more common in the news, it’s not that that data isn’t out there, it’s that it can be hard to manage. This new tool helps to promote a transparent flow of information between the DOB and the public. Allowing for every New Yorker to have a greater understanding of the construction in their neighborhood as well as the overall city.
According to the New York Building Congress, “72.5 million gross square feet of new residential and non-residential space was created last year – 14 percent greater than the second most productive recent year (63.5 million in 2006).” With no end in sight for New York City’s construction boom, it is important for the public to be able to utilize the DOB’s new tool to track and oversee the construction projects that will transform the City.