Jill Hubley

Certain properties are sometimes responsible for high amounts of greenhouse gases.

If one were to imagine New York’s buildings as stony leeches sucking juice from the power grid, which ones would be the fattest, most aggressive subjects? Jill Hubley provides an answer in the form of a swell, interactive map of the city’s real-estate carbon footprint.

New York requires owners of large properties to report their utilities usage to, in the words of the city, “give building owners and potential buyers a better understanding of a building’s energy and water consumption, eventually shifting the market towards increasingly efficient, high-performing buildings.” Hubley has taken the latest data, from 2014, and colored energy-intensive buildings in tan and brown, showing how their consumption results in greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane entering the atmosphere.

The 34-year-old Brooklyn web developer—who’s something of a savant with New York cartography, having previously tackled tree species and toxic spills—says two things jumped out at her when making this map. She emails:

First, when I was looking at buildings with high emissions, I noticed many of them were owned by the New York City Housing Authority. There are also a few NYCHA buildings, however, with very low emissions. I did some searching and found this article, which notes that there’s a plan in place to improve the efficiency of NYCHA buildings. Replacement of old boilers and lighting will be the starting point.

Second, and not too surprisingly, the map makes obvious that there is a concentration of buildings with high emissions in the vicinity of Times Square. Some of these buildings have made specific commitments to reducing emissions under the mayor's New York City Carbon Challenge. This includes hotels like the Crowne Plaza Times Square and the Grand Hyatt.

Jill Hubley

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A man walks his dog on a hilltop overlooking San Francisco in the early morning hours on Mount Davidson.
    Equity

    When Millennials Battle Boomers Over Housing

    In Generation Priced Out, Randy Shaw examines how Boomers have blocked affordable housing in urban neighborhoods, leaving Millennial homebuyers in the lurch.

  2. Life

    Amazon HQ2 Goes to New York City and Northern Virginia

    After Jeff Bezos set off one of the highest-profile bidding wars in modern history, Amazon picked two East Coast cities for its new headquarters. The surprise extra: There's something in it for Nashville, too.

  3. A photo shows the Amazon logo on a building.
    Amazon HQ2

    Amazon’s HQ2 Spectacle Isn’t Just Shameful—It Should Be Illegal

    Each year, local governments spend nearly $100 billion to move headquarters and factories between states. It’s a wasteful exercise that requires a national solution.

  4. Cyclists and walks use a trail beside Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas.
    Life

    HQ2 Is Only Part of the Story of Big-Tech Expansion

    Amazon HQ2 may be split between superstar cities, but San Francisco’s big tech firms are starting to expand into smaller, non-coastal places.

  5. A photo of a resident of Community First Village, a tiny-home community for people who were once living in homelessness, outside of Austin, Texas.!
    Design

    Austin's Fix for Homelessness: Tiny Houses, and Lots of Neighbors

    Community First! Village’s model for ending homelessness emphasizes the stabilizing power of social connections.