Gentrification in South Bend

These are a few homes that are located near the Near Northwest Neighborhood.
Photo by Connor De Mill

By Connor De Mill and Manny De Jesus

It’s never easy to accept change.

In the last few decades, some of the nation’s largest cities have experienced change at unprecedented levels at unprecedented rates, and it’s getting more and more difficult to get a grasp of these changes before these transformations become permanent. In The Atlantic’s review of Peter Moskowitz’s new book “How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for a Neighborhood,” Gillian White makes references to how Detroit, San Francisco, New York and New Orleans have heavily gentrified at the expense of several marginalized communities, and while the review focuses on how larger cities have battled with these changes, we think it’s time we start turning our focus towards America’s smaller urban hubs.

Conrad Damian, who has lived in South Bend’s southeast side for 48 years and has worked alongside the Southeast Organized Area Residents (SOAR) neighborhood development organization, believes that the city is experiencing more change than it realizes.

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Construction of the Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtzee river in China is the world’s largest power station in terms of installed capacity. The dam was envisioned in 1919, however, the project did not begin until December of 1994. Construction was a massive endeavor, costing 180 billion yuan ($22.5 billion USD) and displacing 1.24 million residents from 13 cities. Despite its high initial cost, the dam recovered the full 180 billion yuan through 1,000 terawatt hours of electricity production in December of 2013. Furthermore, the Chinese government asserts that the relocation of these residents is outweighed by the increased flood protection provided by the dam to those further downriver.

The dam received harsh criticism for its environmental impact. The region is home to a large number of endangered plant and animal species that were guaranteed to be impacted by the dam’s construction. Chinese government scholars claim that the construction of the Three Gorges Dam directly caused the extinction of the Bajie, or Chinese River Dolphin.

In this timelapse created using Google Earth you can witness how the construction of the dam has profoundly changed the surrounding area.


Andrew Luck NFL Offensive Yards 2012-2016

Quarterback Andrew Luck has been with the Indianapolis Colts for five seasons, bringing his team to the playoffs three times. Luck recently signed a six year contract with the Colts, securing him for the team through 2021. This chart  displays his rushing and passing yards during his time with the team. View the live chart created with Datawrapper here.


Religion in the U.S.

Research conducted by Gallup in 2016 revealed the religiosity of individual states within the U.S. As one might expect, a higher number of individuals classified as religious can be found in southern states, while a lower number are found in much of the northeast. Gallup’s data classifies individuals as non-religious, religious, or very religious. More information can be found in the infographic below.



Federal Air Marshal Misconduct (2002-2012)


This chart allows us to visualize the Federal Air Marshal Misconduct data that was released in February of 2016 by the TSA.  In 2009 a reporter for Propublica filed a Freedom of Information Act request for reports of misconduct by Federal Air Marshals. The request was granted seven years later, and it gives us surprising insight into issues with the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS). The Washington field office has the most problems 530 reports of misconduct since 2002. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the next set of more recent data to be released to the public.

Access the interactive version of the chart here.

Google Trends: European Union, China, and Kim Kardashian

This Google trends chart displays news searches in the U.S. over the past twelve months related to the topic of the European Union, vs. searches related to China, vs. searches related to Kim Kardashian.


This Google Trends chart displays news searches in the U.S. over the past twelve months related to the topic of the European Union, vs. searches related to China, vs. searches related to Kim Kardashian. This Trends chart is fairly simple, and it makes the point abundantly clear that the European Union is consistently of very little interest to the American people. The only time in which searches for the European Union topped Kim Kardashian or China was during the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016, or Brexit.

This has a lot to say about the United States’ relationship with the European Union, showing that the American public does not believe this political institution to be particularly relevant to their lives. While it may seem unfair to rank the European Union against one of the United States top reality television personalities, searches for the European Union consistently rank under that of searches for China as well. If it were simply a matter of proximity rather than interest or perceived relevance, one would expect the European to surpass China in searches, yet this is not the case.

To give the American public the benefit of the doubt, it is possible that this Trends chart indicates that the U.S. media is not doing a comprehensive enough job covering news related to the European Union. Perhaps as Brexit nears its formal conclusion, search interest in the European Union will spike once again.

Google Trends: Climate Change and Global Warming

This Google trends chart displays the relative number of searches for the terms “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” over the past five years.


This Google Trends chart displays the relative number of searches for the terms “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” over the past five years. We can interpret a number of interesting things from this visualization. First that searches for both topics seem to grow in the lead up to election dates in early November. Interest then rapidly drops off in the following months.

This could however, be effected by the second trend: seasonality. Searches for both topics seem to be at their lowest amounts during the hottest months of the year. This could be due to the fact that people assume it should be hot during July, and are not surprised or concerned when it is. Another interesting thing to note is that while climate change has become the more scientifically accepted term, global warming has consistently remained the more popular search term.

However, both topics still follow almost identical Trends. I had expected to see search volume for both topics rise with the beginning of every new month, as this is the time when popular scientific journals such as Nature are released, yet there this does not seem to be a significant trend.