Abstract images of NYC lay bare the concrete space

White roof

I was particularly taken with an article on the website Taxi. Showcasing the work of Brooklyn-based photographer Navid Baraty, a sequence of aerial images depict New York City’s intersections and roads as a set of abstract images. As Taxi point out;

The photographs also reveal the order in the chaos that is New York City, as the neat grid streets and buildings are clearly reflected in these shots.

High view

This is very clearly the case. ‘Order’ – literally – seems to be the order of the day. Lines of Yellow cabs scurry like worker ants, whilst buildings stand rectangular, impassive and permanent  However one of the key things that struck me was how little greenery is evident. Of course, we know this. We all know this. NYC – or rather Manhatten, our mental image of NYC – is a city and not any old city; Its THE city incarnate, an area of commerce, energy and high population density. Yet all that roof space affords incredible – and often missed – opportunity; green roofs to soften the impact of all that grey and to improve the chances for flourishing biodiversity. Green roofs are indeed increasingly being employed in urban spaces and NYC is neither without green roof space nor greenery (I know this well. I saw much of NY during the marathon in 1998 – very painful….). But I would argue that application of green roofs needn’t be grand in scale and the preserve of the roof top garden. After all, a green roof can be employed over the smallest of constructions. Every time a bus shelter, cycle storage compound, small building and even telephone box(!) is erected without one, represents a wasted opportunity to enhance our living spaces; particularly at ground level. Subtle changes in our living environment can make tremendous difference to well being.

Rant over. I’m off my soapbox now. Let’s concentrate instead on the images; a terrific and fascinating body of work by Navid Baraty.


Very high view



Yellow cabs


Night time

Images also available to view on the Taxi website.

1 comment
  1. Reblogged this on CycleStuff and commented:
    Copied this over from another blog that I maintain – The Elwell blog (buildings, city stuff etc.). It’s relevant here as the post details an aerial depiction of the city (New York City in this case). Just imagine cycling through some of these scenes. Thrilling? Probably. Dangerous? Possibly . Seeing the city from a different angle helps us to understand the need to return the city to a more people friendly space (and besides……who can complain about images of a gigantic inflatable Spiderman?).

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