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Documerica Challenge: New York Subway

2012 February 6

What does a subway system have to do with our environment?

Documerica photo by Eric Calonius subway car 5/1973

For one thing, public transportation can help cut down on automobile emissions and that means better air quality. Healthy air is one part of our collective quality of life. Care and respect for our surroundings also plays a role in the quality of life we enjoy where we work and live.

Documerica photographer Erik Calonius took these photos of the New York subway system in 1973. Calonius began his time with Documerica as an intern working closely with project director Gifford D. Hampshire. In addition to his work on several Documerica exhibits, he took photos in Washington, D.C., New York City and rural Ohio. He captured images of the impacts of noise and water pollution, urban blight in large cities, and the ravages of strip mining on the American countryside.

Documerica photo by Eric Calonius Times Square subway 5/1973

Now, the challenge is on YOU if you live in that area or plan to travel to it. What looks different? What remains the same?

See if you can match up these images, to compare what nearly 40 years later looks like!

Share your photos here. We can’t wait to see our world as you see it!

Not in New York City? See how close Documerica came to home and and send in your own ‘Then-Now’ match up!

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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