Set on the coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, eThekwini Municipality recently launched the eThekwini Green Map
at the 2012 Sustainable Living Exhibition
. Providing an opportunity for locals and tourists to look at eThekwini through a sustainability lens, the Green Map offers a new perspective of the municipal area and visually communicates a ‘sustainability portrait’ of the communities within eThekwini.
Led by Imagine Durban, a council-led community based project on integrated, long-term planning and sustainable development, the eThekwini Green Map “will involve all citizens in building and enjoying a more sustainable city” says Bongumusa Zondo, Senior Manager of Imagine Durban.
By reaching out to various communities, Imagine Durban hopes to create a Green Map which represents and celebrates the Municipality’s diverse communities and regions, while highlighting the wealth of features in eThekwini that support and promote social and environmental sustainability. A print version, published quarterly, is also available to reach an inclusive audience as only 10% of the population within eThekwini has regular access to the internet.
Championing inclusive participation in development, the Imagine Durban team led a community asset mapping pilot project in the rural community of KwaNdengezi in Ward 12. From May to July 2012 a group of roughly twenty youth from Ward 12 explored the sustainability features of their community, and participated in a series of mapping workshops. Sites of significance were collected and put on the Green Map. The project aimed to empower Ward 12 to tell the story of its community, share its initiatives, and inspire others.
“This project helped a lot because not all people or youth here know that we have such important things and to give us, the public, to participate and appreciate the local things we have is very meaningful” acclaims a project participant.
By exploring the sustainable features of the community, the project hoped to place value on the community in the minds of its residents to help foster a sense of community pride and, by extension, to develop a desire to care for the natural environment and preserve traditional knowledge and practices.
“I learned that if we can help each other in doing things we can change our place/country” says another participant, “by working together we can achieve success and be sustainable.”
eThekwini Green Map – know it, map it, share it!
Brittany Morris | Brittany.Morris@durban.gov.za | +27 31 311 4268 | www.imaginedurban.org