2014 Excellence in Visual Digital Storytelling, Large Newsroom finalist

Reshaping New York


Ford Fessenden, Tom Giratikanon, Josh Keller, Archie Tse, Tim Wallace, Derek Watkins, Jeremy White, Karen Yourish

The New York Times

Excellence in Visual Digital Storytelling, Large Newsroom


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About the Project

Michael Bloomberg changed the physical face of New York City more than any mayor in decades. He rezoned more than a third of the city, transformed its waterfronts, and made biking a viable form of mass transportation. The changes are so far-reaching that they are hard to picture. Reshaping New York shows the full scale of the city’s transformation.

The piece relies on extensive reporting into city building records, which allowed us to create a three-dimensional model containing more than a million buildings. The model is interspersed with aerial photography and written copy to guide readers around the parts of the city that changed the most.

The fine level of visual detail gives readers an immediate sense of Bloomberg’s influence. It reveals the smaller details that help determine how a city feels: Sunbathers gather in what was a parking lot near the Brooklyn Bridge, gleaming condos replace an industrial waterfront in Williamsburg, and actors in superhero costumes stand in former lanes of traffic in Times Square. Instead of a collection of data points, the piece deftly combines different types of media to tell a story.