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Chicago in 13 Maps

Chicago in 13 Maps

Perhaps a blog that focuses on Pakistani politics isn’t the best place for this post. However, this is the only blog I write for, so here it goes… I really miss Chicago. I’m incredibly sad to leave Chicago for Washington DC after eight years.

Chicago is a city of extremes. There are many downright awful things about Chicago: It has the highest murder rate of the major U.S. cities (506 murders in 2012 alone). Its political corruption is legendary (4 out of the last 7 Illinois governors went to prison). The weather is atrocious (its known for both blizzards and heat waves). The public schools have a 63% graduation rate. Chicago city taxes are the second highest in the U.S. (9.25%), and so forth…

But Chicago also has an equal number of uniquely wonderful things: the lakefront, the architecture, the comedy, the food, the world-class universities and the music are the first to come to mind.

It’s cliche to say, but undeniably true, that Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. For me, this point was really driven home while listening to this two-part podcast by This American Life. The show interviews students and administrators of Harper High School, a Chicago public school where 29 current or recent students were killed during the last year alone. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Although the students interviewed in the piece live just a few miles from where I did, they might as well have lived in another country. The concerns they face – such as being automatically assigned to a gang based on what street they live on or how to negotiate rival gang territories on their way to school – are simply nonexistent in other neighborhoods.

I selected these 13 maps because 1) I thought they were interesting, and 2) they do a good job of showing the myriad of socioeconomic differences that separate affluent neighborhoods like Lakeview from poor neighborhoods like Englewood. You can access the original site by clicking on the title of each map.

I hope you like them. Also, I really love maps so if anyone has more to share, please let me know…

1. Killings in Chicago, 2001-2012

Map from The New York Times

Source: New York Times

2. Segregation in Chicago

Map from All-that-is-interesting.com

Source: All-that-is-interesting.com

3. Life Expectancy, 2003-2007

Map from The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Source:  Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

4. Chicago Gang Territories, 2011 (Interactive)

Map from wbez.org

Source: wbez.org

5. Chicago Coffeeshops vs. Crime, 1991-2005

Source: Chicago Magazine

Source: Chicago Magazine

6. Where Recovered Guns in Chicago Came From, 2001-2012 (Interactive)

Map from The New York Times

Source: New York Times

7. Access to Chain Supermarkets

Map from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Source: Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

8. Chicago Shootings and Homicides, 2012 (Interactive)

Map from the Chicago Sun Times

Source: Chicago Sun Times

9. Persistent Poverty in Chicago, 1970-2009

Map from the Joint Center for the Study of Politics and Economics

Source: Joint Center for the Study of Politics and Economics

10. Adults with Less than A High School Education, 2009

Source: The Joint Center for the Study of Politics and Economics

Source:  Joint Center for the Study of Politics and Economics

11. Mayor Rahm Emmanual’s New Garbage Grid to Combat Corruption

Source: wbez.org

 12. Blues Clubs in Chicago, 1945-2001 (Interactive)

Source: Encyclopedia of Chicago

Source: Encyclopedia of Chicago

 

13. Chicago’s Ethnic Mosaic 2000 (Interactive)

 

Source: Encyclopedia of Chicago

About Lindsey O'Rourke

Lindsey is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Chicago and a Predoc at the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies.

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