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Community / Public space

These depressing charts made of street furniture throw London's housing problems into stark relief

In the run-up to tomorrow’s election, statistics have played a big role in politicians’ pitch to the voters – but statistics, alas, can sometimes be hard to visualise. 

Enter Street Graphs. The tumblr feed and public art project shows statistics in a clear, visual way: through co-opting innocuous bits of street furniture and turning them into bar charts, representing different aspects of inequality in London. Some cover nationwide figures, but all – from homelessness through affordable housing and skyrocketing rents – paint a dark picture for London in particular. 

A little ironically, the blog doesn’t link back to its data sources, so there’s no way of checking the graphs’ accuracy; and it’s a bit unclear whether the bar charts show their data by area or height. Despite this, it’s a good way to go about showing people quite how much things have changed even within the past decade or two.

This one in Hackney, for example, shows rising rents over the past ten years:

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And here’s the number of homeowners in their 30s, a decade ago and now, displayed in Camden:

This one is of our shrinking affordable housing stock, located in Kensington: 

London’s homelessness figures in Clapham:

The rise in house prices since 2005, this time in Brixton:

Forced evictions, on a street in Peckham:

And finally, in Croydon, the affordable housing waiting list. 

So – that’s got that problem illustrated. Now we just need to work out how to fix it. 

This article is from the CityMetric archive: some formatting and images may not be present.