The concern about sustainability has risen interest in the academic community and society, when it comes to the practices aimed atimproving the quality of life for current generations and, primarily, for the Future ones. The city of Curitiba has a public policy that addresses issues related to sustainable development. Still, it is known that improvements are needed with regards to interventions (especially among students) to encourage the pursuit of sustainability.
The Curitiba Green Map workshops fall in this trajectory. It is organized through a partnership between UFPR and American NGO © Green Map, which aims to map the elements of urban ecology, related to good and bad practices of sustainability, given the slogan "Think Global, Map Local," adapted from recommendation of Agenda 21 (ECO92, 1992).
The NGO has developed a methodology based on universal iconographic representation of initiatives and events that contribute to or undermine the sustainability (environmental spheres, social and economic), categorized in: Sustainable Living, Nature and Culture & Society.
Having such methodology as a parameter, the UFPR team developed a intervention tool, related to it, with the universe of the Curitiba citizens and based partly or wholly from the premises of the NGO Green Map ©.
The goals were established: the mapping process, awareness and involvement in society through the iconographic language. A sample of 60 icons divided into the three categories above was selected among the universe of icons provided by © Green Map, ,. The chosen method of application is a "mapping workshop”, developed by the project team. It is divided into five steps: (a) introduction to the system - presentation of the NGO and previous results, (b) assimilation - knowledge of icons and their meanings, (c) mapping - identification (drawing) of the public area in the urban environment with the use of city maps, (d) completion of the map - Stamp application icons corresponding to the characteristics of location on the maps drawing, (e) verification - expedient procedure for verification of accuracy of the information mapped by the participants and the same insertion on the Green Map ©.
The first and major action by the project occurred in 2009, as part of the First Journey of Information Management - Sugestão 2009. At that time, about three thousandfive hundred visitors, from Curitiba and metropolitan area and tourists from around the country learned about the initiative, and local residents participated in the construction of the Green Map of the city. Not only an awake from their perception as to their space from the daily contact with local maps was noticed, but also the assimilation of the icons linked to sustainability. Two more workshops were held to a lesser extent (with graduate students), adding an analytical character and discussion to the project about the meanings of the available icons as well as of missing ones.
The workshops proved to be a valid method in environmental education, which focus gradually replaced the character of "collecting data" for the project. The reflection on concepts of sustainability calls for the responsibility of each one of the individuals in relation to the future of the city and the planet. It implies a change of habits and, therefore, the need for integration and social participation. The second occasion, the identification of icons present in their surrounding area, gives the participant the exercise of reading space, which raises critical questions previously not thought of. The completion of the workshops showed that the population in Curitiba, values squares, green spaces, health facilities while identifying a lack of services and security as well as, degraded areas in the city. It shows that Curitiba has yet to overcome challenges in maintaining a sustainable way of life and for that it is expected that the environmental education promoted by theGreen Map adds to this process.
(paper presented at EDS-2010 International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, May, 2010. Authors: Ana Carolina Greef, Eduardo Michelotti Bettoni, Maria do Carmo Duarte de Freitas, Sergio Fernando Tavares, Silvia Pedroso Xavier)