Canners NYC Launches on Gothamist, WNYC

The Brown Institute is proud to announce the launch of the project Canners NYC, an immersive multimedia experience in the world of canners, people who pick up cans and bottles on the streets.

Journalist Francesca Berardi spent a year conducting oral history interviews, tracking paths, collecting data, making drawings and occasionally picking cans, in order to tell in-depth stories of eight canners in Brooklyn. Grga Basic, cartographer at Columbia University’s Center for Spatial Research, unrolled the paths and populated them with both quantitative and qualitative data, in a way that is at the same time precise and deliberately abstract. An amazing group of advisors and collaborators (full list here) made the creation of the website possible.

The main challenges were combining different disciplines and techniques with journalism ethics, as well as tell immersive, detailed and intimate stories of vulnerable people while protecting their privacy and identities.

One of the canners stories has been produced in collaboration with WNYC and broadcasted in conjunction of the publication of an article on

Stay tuned for more!