Aug 29, 2009

Looking at the Hyper-Local

One of the most amazing aspects of reentry in Upper Manhattan is how locally specific it is. There are extremely high concentrations of people returning to very small local areas in Harlem -- and this is generally the nature of criminal justice problems in urban areas.

Looking at the broader global context, Swedish public health professor and doctor Hans Rosling has put together a fascinating dataset displaying this same pattern in development. Arguing against the traditional perspective that there are "developed" and then "developing" nations, Rosling uses his data to describe extreme variations among so-called "developing nations." [See also his website to see more displays of world development data compellingly presented.]

The video below -- humorous and dynamic -- shows a presentation he gave through TED at the US Department of State this summer. His visual displays of development over time speak very clearly to the idea that all global phenomena have very specific local manifestations. An interesting idea to ponder in Upper Manhattan as well.