How did Hurricane Sandy affect us at Green Map System?
The floodwaters stopped just a few blocks from our office in the East Village of Manhattan on October 29, 2012. Nevertheless, both the office and my apartment lost power for the entire workweek. With my trusty bicycle, I found places to work outside the dark zone, and found ways to pitch in on the relief efforts, including cycling supplies out to a hardhit area and considering how our resources could involve more people in this critical issue.
As you probably know, Sandy has become a broad call to action for a more resilient approach to planning for climate change. We developed a dynamic slideshow on the evolution of our own local climate-themed Green Maps, including the Creative Climate Action Award we won in fall 2013, and some of related editions by global Green Mapmakers.
• We dug in deeper on our March 2013 Adapting to Change cycling tour/discussion, and quite literally, supported community resiliency and sustainability as we pitched in in the new Siempre Verde community garden.
• In partnership with East River Park's Partnerships for Parks Greenway Catalyst, the next phase of this project launched in May: Lower East Ride which includes new printed and interactive Green Maps that juxtapose Sandy's impacts with resilient living resources, including the 45 new bike share stations on the Lower East Ride. Download the PDF and explore the social media generated by this extended cycling tour series and thought-provoking map designed by Maryam Khabazi, with Bethany Bingham and Aaron Reiss at facebook.com/lower.east.ride!
• Each of our tours revealed more impacts and issues, as East River Park, street trees and gardens losses were tallied. Green spaces slowly recovered from salt water inundation, and impacted businesses and buildings got back on their feet. During the Summer, we began distributing printed Lower East Ride - Adapting to Change Green Maps in Chinese, Spanish and English, informing our diverse neighbors about cycling and other resources and encouraging everyone to be part of the change we need to see in the world.
• Our discussion rides have continued with our award-winning ride taking place at the end of September. It was an official Climate Week NYC and 10 Days of Climate Action event, and drew New Yorkers and visitors from several countries.
• We joined LES Ready, the long term recovery group in our community. We take part in many different kinds of climate resiliency efforts in NYC, as well.
• Our newest video and guide help bicyclists organize for ongoing emergencies - see it at Bike Ready. It debuted at the Bicycle Film Festival 2016, with multilingual versions now available - Chinese, Japanese and Spanish.
• Lower East Ride reprinted - in fact the English is in its third printing.
• Climate change is directing us toward a new way of working. We'll soon reveal how.
We're taking part in other climate forums and generating new ways that Green Map projects, locally and globally, can help shift the balance toward a climate smart and healthy common future. Support this work at GreenMap.org/donate any time, or contact us about getting involved.
Best wishes from Wendy Brawer and our New York staff.
Video from 'Adapting to Change Cycling Tour' series, presented as a 'how-to' for extending beyond mapmaking and generate new solutions for the community's future.