Participatory budgeting for tech projects in Brooklyn

(Note: I’m transferring this post, which I wrote in June for the ProPublica Data Institute, over from my experimental portfolio to my main site for linking purposes!)

I learned how to use Datawrapper to make charts and maps from data sets at the ProPublica Data Institute. As part of my final project, I created the below chart of funding for projects proposed by Brooklyn residents in 10 specific New York City Council districts. Since I cover tech in Brooklyn, I was interested to see how much of that funding went toward tech-related projects.

The chart shows the total of allocated participatory budget funds by council district from January 2015 up to May 2017. As you can see, District 38, which includes Red Hook and Sunset Park, has outpaced the other Brooklyn districts in participatory budgeting. But District 33 (Dumbo, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Heights, and Greenpoint, among other neighborhoods), District 34 (Bushwick and Williamsburg), and District 36 (Bedford-Stuyvesant and northern Crown Heights) have allocated the most significant shares of their participatory budgets toward tech-related projects.

Methodology: I downloaded the data set of New York City Council participatory budget items from NYC Open Data. I then narrowed my focus to approved budget items pertaining to Brooklyn locations from January 2015 to May 2017, the latest month for which there were data. Some relevant City Council districts straddle Brooklyn and Queens; I excluded items in those districts that pertained to locations in Queens. From that focused data set, I tagged items that were tech-related. (My rule of thumb: anything that Brooklyn might cover counted.)