Mapping Urban Social Issues

IMG_7140Natasha P. Boyde is an urban geographer, ethnographer, and cartographer. She conducts research on people’s history, emotion(s), and identity in relation to place in the urban landscape. Natasha’s research works to shed light on inequalities and injustices through the experience of homeless, low-income, and marginalized groups of people. The Conscious Map Project present the various results of working with people to learn their experience(s) throughout the city.

Conscious Maps are the results of visualizing qualitative data (i.e. stories) through experimental cartography. The project aims to inform the public and current political regime of urban social issues that may be otherwise unseen/unheard. The objective of a Conscious Map is to analyze current issues without dis-counting any public’s voice, especially marginalized and disenfranchised peoples, and to build databases of public-generated data.

The Conscious Map Project is currently researching the experience of Seattle’s homeless, including residents of “Tent City”, and evicted families. Seattle is undergoing exponential growth and the highest level of housing construction in decades. With this comes gentrification and displacement of many long-time residents, as well as economic “pricing out” of many who have turned to homelessness and Tent City to live. Natasha is collecting the stories of those homeless and displaced. Those stories are being mapped right now…