Does This 3D Map Of New York City Make You Look At Manhattan Differently?
Artist Nickolay Lamm wants you to look at the world differently. It’s the one thing he tries to accomplish whenever he creates a new piece of art. So in the past, he’s created everything from a “normal Barbie” that featured a Barbie doll with proportions equivalent to the average 19-year-old American girl to a map of the United States that featured an up-close look at what some cities will look like in the future if sea levels continue to rise. But his latest project might just hit the closest to home. That’s because it features a very real, very accurate depiction of how wealth is spread across New York City.
In order to show how much money certain parts of New York City do and don’t have, Lamm created a 3D map that uses the height of skyscrapers to illustrate the wealth in certain areas of NYC. Those areas that have a lot of wealth are depicted by tall skyscrapers. And those areas that don’t have skyscrapers and appear to be level don’t have a lot of wealth. By creating this kind of map, Lamm shows the inequality that exists in New York City. Certain parts of uptown NYC have tons and tons of money, while others appear to have none at all. Some of those areas are also right next to one another, which makes the inequality even more amazing. And Lamm’s map helps to point out the inequality very clearly.
By making a map like this, Lamm says he isn’t trying to spark change or bring attention to some radical new idea he has. Rather, he simply wants to show people the inequality that exists and make them think about it. And he’s certainly accomplished that mission, at least as far as we’re concerned. We would also be interested in seeing him do this for other cities. We knew that inequality like this existed. But seeing it for ourselves—and seeing it defined very clearly through a 3D map like the one that Lamm created—definitely opens our eyes a little bit more.
What do you think about Lamm’s map? Does it open your eyes, or is the inequality that exists in cities like NYC old news to you?