Welcome to Colouring Cities

This is the place to discuss everything to do with the Colouring Cities Research Programme, building data, city data, fantastic applications and beautiful maps and visualisations.

The programme started with Colouring London, a citizen social science project designed crowdsource and visualise twelve categories of information about London’s buildings. Read more about the project or join in the discussion here.

You can also read more about the wider Colouring Cities Research Programme.

Looking forward to hearing and reading more about this fantastic project. Are there any other countries or cities that are carrying out this activity?

This particular project is focussed on London - but we’re drawing on plenty of sources for inspiration.

There’s a great article in Wired from 2013 that links to building age maps for a number of cities, including Portland, New York, Ljubljana and all of the Netherlands.

There’s also a long tradition of visualising building data in London - for example, Charles Booth’s late 19th century London Poverty Maps.

Hi there,

I am Part II architecture student who is currently working on a similar project focusing on Custom House, E16. The idea is also to create an online platform which would allow residents of the area to understand the built environment they live in. Particularly, it looks at buildings at a more detailed level covering structure, material as well as social history.

It’s all exciting to find Colouring London here, and I am wondering if it would be possible to have a conversation with anyone from the team to exchange some ideas etc.?

Many thanks!

What an excellent resource. It is very odd but I was just embarking upon such a project for Bloomsbury on behalf of the Conservation Area Committee. It is great to see all the work already done!

Hi Chuck, thanks for messaging :wave: - apologies for the incredibly slow reply, it’s been fairly quiet on here.

Happy to chat - shall we DM to exchange contact details?

Thanks Owen :pray: much appreaciated - your Bloomsbury project sounds interesting. Is there anything that’s been particularly useful? Simply having the conservation areas approximately mapped out?

I am a Part 1 Architecture student with a particular fascination for how buildings/communities are developed and changed over time. I think the opportunity to visualise how London has expanded out into its suburbs particuarly during the early part of the 20th century will be really nice to see once the map becomes more populated! I do wonder about how sources for building dates etc. can be verified properly though - I have noticed a couple of buildings labeled with hugely innaccurate dates or citing bad sources - has it been thought about how this could perhaps be controlled? Richmond is my area of speciality so I will do my best to populate it with accurate information. Looking forward to the development of this!