East Boston is where some of the strongest currents in the city run close to the surface. Issues of immigration, development, affordable housing, public health, and the environment are sharply drawn in the neighborhood. On the Visualizing Eastie site, students in the Information Design and Visualization Studio 2 class used the tools of design and visualization to uncover sometimes hidden patterns and networks. In 23 visualizations, they examined:
- The people: the changing demographics of the neighborhood and the role of immigration in this neighborhood that’s historically been the port of first arrival for newcomers;
- The environment: the impact of Logan Airport’s flight paths on the skies above, and what the future holds for a neighborhood built from landfill in the harbor in an age of rising seas;
- The built city: the explosion of development and the changes in physical space in a neighborhood in transition;
- Institutional life: the changing nature of schools, churches and religious institutions to reflect new populations.
Finally, three team projects showed how all of those topics might intersect if Boston’s bid to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to East Boston is successful — in effect, visualizing a future city.