This is not a gentrification map: hacker renames Gentrifying Philly - Technical.ly Philly

Civic

Feb. 24, 2014 8:30 am

This is not a gentrification map: hacker renames Gentrifying Philly

"It came to a point after launch, where having the current title imply that the project was measuring gentrification just didn't seem honest," said hacker Jim Smiley.
Full Disclosure: Jim Smiley is Technical.ly's contributing web editor. This project has no ties to Technical.ly Philly.

Just don’t call it Gentrifying Philly.

Jim Smiley, the civic hacker (and, full disclosure, our contributing web editor) behind a map that showed the net gain or loss of construction permits over the years, has renamed his project. He initially called it Gentrifying Philly but changed it to Philadelphia Construction Permits by Neighborhood, in response to some feedback he received.

“It came to a point after launch, where having the current title imply that the project was measuring gentrification just didn’t seem honest,” Smiley said in an email.

The map made the rounds in local media, with features on Newsworks, Curbed and PhillyMag. One commenter noted that construction permits don’t necessarily refer to new construction.

The instance reminds us of the time that gadfly Brett Mandel removed specific city employee salary information in his budget visualization tool due to feedback he received.

It’s also a reminder that civic hackers are often more than technologists.¬†They work in the realms of journalism, advocacy, marketing and branding and sometimes politics.

People: Jim Smiley
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