In November, our director, her partner and Irapuato Mexico's Green Mapmaker, Nathalie Castiaux, met with leaders from the Centro Felix Varela, an NGO in Havana Cuba. Following a welcoming lunch with the whole staff, we learned about the wonderful week planned by the Green Map team. This group has led Mapa Verde Cuba for more than 15 years!
Led by biologist Liana Bidart, a team of five organized an on-target three day workshop with 40 Green Mapmakers at a seaside hotel. This terrific event included exhibits from eight 'nodes' that include 1863 members across the country, presentations by every group and co-development of 2017 goals, which include stepping up on climate change and women's empowerment. We also toured a community center and heard from youth, seniors, project leaders and partners, rounding out the story of this program's impacts.
The date was December 13, 1991. I was in a room full of environmental activists in New York City. The @UnitedNations Earth Summit ‘prepcom’ was coming up, where Agenda 21 would be negotiated prior to the main UN event in Rio. We were planning talks and tours for hundreds of governmental, sustainability and social justice participants who would soon arrive, some to stay a month.
I thought about these individuals coming from all over the world, and wondered, would they see the signs of progress that I was noticing: Community gardens, farmers markets, bike paths, solar sites and more? I considered their many languages and cultures, and decided I should make a map of these and other hopeful features. read more »
The Green Wine Awards, now in their eighth year and Africa’s only wine competition recognizes and honours wine producers who continue to play an integral role in the provision of ecofriendly wines, which embody farming for the future practices. The awards also seek to celebrate wine producers who are passionate about conserving the land while making greener, finer wines and lowering their carbon footprint.
Is an interactive map of Barcelona, done in a collaboratively way among citizens, businesses, organizations and government initiatives that shows initiatives and resources that contributes to the improvement of the urban environment, that helps building a more equitable and inclusive social structure and that enriches the community and neighborhood tissue.read more »
Generating action to respond to climate change is among the many things Green Map System does, as seen here. In May 2016, we worked with local film makers to create a new resource:
Framing cyclists’ response in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, this film has become a springboard for local preparedness. Along with the 4-minute film, in 2016, we created an adaptable Guide you can download as a PDF or .Doc so you can be #BikeReady too.
Mapping the green spaces of today and tomorrow’s developments
The Hola LES Green Map charts the speculative future of the ever-changing Lower East Side, highlighting existing resources as well as conceptual projects that contribute to the community’s sustainability and sense of place.
Manhattan's vibrant Lower East Side is on the forefront of climate change, like all coastal communities, and this map was developed as a resource to help increase the green spaces, sustainability and resiliency of the neighborhood. The Hola LES map highlights existing green living resources, development projects that are transforming the neighborhood, and speculative design ideas that can increase sustainability and resiliency.
The map (linked here with legend) includes research gathered during three mapping workshops, interviews with community members, historical research, and through participation in Community Board 3 meetings. It was built using the Carto mapping engine platform and Green Map icons. Below, find the embed code to add this to your website!
A nice crowd joined on a tour to celebrate this map's launch on Saturday May 7, 2016 - the event was both a Jane's Walk and a LES History Month event. Excitingly, later in May, our Director was named an LES Community Hero (photo to come).
The goals of the mapping workshops, which were held in Siempre Verde Garden in 2015, were two-fold: to map the current green space and sustainable living resources and to find underutilized space with sustainable development potential. The workshop participants explored the 36 blocks between Sara D Roosevelt Park and Hamilton Fish Park from HOuston to DeLAncey streets (“Hola”). We discovered places where new green spaces could be created from currently vacant tree pits and swaths of bare earth as well as excessive paving that could be greened, an emerging Green Wall, and hidden-in-plain view gardens. We also learned where solar panels are powering neighborhood buildings, about cycling resources, initiatives to re-purpose Parks buildings for community use, and more.
Our workshops included discussion about green infrastructure to address storm water, a problem that confronts many New York City neighborhoods (the 15 ‘combined sewer’ overflow points in East River Park are evidence of this condition). We discovered underutilized green spaces that could be enhanced, gardens where rain barrels could be installed, asphalt that could become permeable, and bare earth around a housing development that could be utilized as a rain garden or bioswale. These solutions enable natural systems to work more smoothly, so that storm water is sponged up and slowed down, which will help prevent flooding in the community and the overflows that pollute the East River.
There are several development projects currently underway that impact the Lower East Side and are relevant to the sustainability of the Hola LES neighborhood. The largest is the Essex Crossing development that will add 1000 new apartments and new retail spaces to the area. In addition, gentrification is an ongoing process, with older buildings being torn down or converted to luxury housing. The map charts these new building developments from 2005 to the present.
The Big U is a 335 million dollar project that will create a barrier around lower Manhattan to reduce storm surge impacts. With community engaged in planning, the first section will break ground due east of Hola LES in 2017. NYC Community Garden Coalition's 2-million dollar "Gardens Rising" project will add another sustainable layer to the neighborhood. Launched in November 2015, green infrastructure will be planned with 47 community gardens, including the five on the Hola LES map.
Other, more local projects include: the updating of the landmarks spaces Bluestocking bookstore, the Essex Market and ABC No Rio; the Suffolk Tree Stewards, who have taken the initiative to improve the trees and tree pits in and around their block, and the projected "Lowline"project, which could become the world’s first underground park.
The Lower East Side has a unique built environment. Looking back via the Viele Map and historical references, we can see how waves of immigrants transformed land where the Lenape people had lived, building tenements, places of work and worship as the population grew. Today, income disparity, litter, lack of green space and car traffic are challenges that we residents of the Lower East Side must address to assure the vitality of this dense, diverse community.
Green Map Curitiba Brazil is an ongoing cross-disciplinary program at UFPR, the Federal University of Parana, featured in the Impacts book
2015 was our 20th year as a PR service for the hometown environment. We are proud of the role Green Map System has played in support of our beautiful planet, her people and home places. Much more than maps have been made as our network shares knowledge and skills that contribute to community greening and resiliency across the board in 65 countries.
Help us make a 2016 climate wise turning point for communities, near and far!
In the wake of the Cop21 agreement in Paris, we’ll be starting off right, looking ahead with a New Year Board retreat. We are grateful to these men and women, listed on the right, who continually make our efforts more impactful. read more »
The season is off to an exciting start at Green Map System. We’re just back from working with great project leaders in Iceland and United Kingdom, where we delivered six talks and workshops. read more »
“As my grandmother used to say: No one can alter nature, but everyone can improve it”
Several events related to ecology and the understanding of Curitiba were held in 2014 and 2015: The Green Map team from Curitiba conducted, in partnership with the Extension Project of the Open University for Maturity (UAM), an activity targeted at the social value of the elderly in order to contribute and promote quality of life and the cultural and social development of the participants. Workshops with 53 (2014) and 74 (2015) elderly participants were held within this program, in the Botanical Garden campus at the Federal University of Paraná. These sought to raise awareness and record ecological elements in the city related to good and bad practices of sustainability, leading them to understand these actions near where they reside or visit.read more »
Lumkani Fire Detection has been announced as one of the top 5 final winners for Chivas Regal’s search for the next big idea in social enterprise, The Venture.
Lumkani went head-to-head with 15 international contenders at the Herbst Pavilion in San Francisco and walked away with $75K (about R950 000) for their low-cost fire detection device.
Lumkani is a social enterprise that seeks to address the challenge of shack fires and to minimise the displacement of families in urban informal settlements in South Africa and across the globe.
“It's incredible to be selected as a finalist for The Venture among some of the brightest young entrepreneurs in the social enterprise sector. Being part of The Venture has been a brilliant journey which culminated in the accelerator week in Silicon Valley and now this win. We are very proud to represent Africa,” said Lumkani’s Managing Director, David Gluckman.read more »
What is Hola LES? It’s the name of a new Green Map project that covers 36 blocks between two city parks, from HOuston Street to DeLAncey (Hola!) streets on Manhattan's Lower East Side. This hands-on project is designed to highlight not only the existing green spaces around the LES but also to identify potential for new green spaces and green infrastructure. Along the way, we are involving different groups of stakeholders and testing out different mapmaking methods.
Workshops in May and June were led by us and project partner Professor Alice Arnold. Starting from Siempre Verde Community Garden, the workshop included a discussions at both ends of the neighborhood walking tour. Workshop #1 included many Civic Corps volunteers while #2 was a global affair, with attendees from Brazil, Japan, Denmark, India and the US. We're planning neighborhood residents and youth workshops later this season. read more »
Green Map has ‘moved the mountain’. Yes, after nine years of great progress and global accumulation, we have moved into a new office in the same East Village neighborhood. We said goodbye to the Connelly Center, which is expanding its school into our former space, and relocated two blocks east. Overlooking a community garden and a lively urban streetscape, our new space brings us closer to our diverse community and local sustainability efforts. Our new address is 292 East Third St, #1A. We’ll be ready for visitors soon, and a fresh flock of summer interns is starting this week.
Projects this season include updating the Mapping our Common Ground book, which focuses on community mapping and grassroots sustainability. Created with Green Mapmakers in Cuba, Brazil, the US and Canada in 2006, much of the book will be completely revised with our network's involvement. The project is led by the great team at University of Victoria, and partly funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Our June 24 workshop in NYC builds on this project!
We’re also continuing work developing our research archive, shifting our mapping platform and gearing up for new road map (pictured above) and 20th anniversary activities developed by design student teams this spring. Yes, you can support our 20th year any time! Our board has expanded, too, adding Meredith Gray of the Coop School, Lela Prashad of NiJel, and Chelsea Wittman of Google. Our appreciation to outgoing board members Lara Penin and Randy Meech, too.read more »
Sixteen start-ups from across the globe with a mission to create positive change have been announced as finalists of The Venture, Chivas Regal’ search to find and support the most promising aspiring social entrepreneurs in the world.
The forward-thinking businesses, including Lumkani from South Africa, are competing to win a share of $1 million in funding from Chivas.read more »
At Green Map, we’re in the process of moving! Not just where we work, but also in some ways, how we work. As always, it’s an exciting journey in support of positive change.
This spring, we are starting the process of ‘going open’. It will take some time to fully explore options and set the course forward together with our beloved Board of Directors, Green Mapmakers worldwide, student teams from social design programs at Parsons and SVA, and members of the open source community. We invite your participation in this process. We believe going open will make it easier to for people to extend the usefulness of our outcomes and contribute leadership, energy and expertise that enhances our global movement.
Why? Our world and climate are changing quickly. More people need to be involved immediately to meet the new challenges we face, and Green Maps can help them do that! Going open will help us share and further develop our toolkit more sustainably, equitably and collaboratively.
Watch for more news about our journey to open as 2015, our 20th anniversary year, rolls out! We’d love to hear from you.
In the meantime, we’re gearing up for a change in location: after eight great years, our uber-nice office will be turned into a classroom over the summer, so we are soon to encamp at a new Lower Manhattan location. Once all the dust settles, we will tell you where we’ve landed – and yes, there will be a party to say “goodbye and hello again,” in the near future.read more »
Cape Town will proudly host the 11th Responsible Tourism in Destinations conference on 14 and 15 April 2015 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
11th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations (RTD 11) presents an opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved in Cape Town, South Africa and worldwide, to document good practices applied by different producer groups and to set the agenda for change for the next 10 years.
Conference discussions will focus on practical solutions that create prosperous and sustainable urban destinations, the responsibility of tourism producer groups and the partnerships that are needed to make it work. In addition, the conference will result in a Responsible Tourism Practitioner’s Guide to Realising Responsible Tourism in Destinations.read more »
At Davos, Al Gore & Pharrell Williams announce global Live Earth Climate Concert in six cities in June - Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Sydney and Cape Town.
A Live Earth music event to demand action on climate change will take place on June 18 across seven continents, including Antarctica, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore and pop star Pharrell Williams announced on Wednesday.
Concerts will be staged in six cities -- Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Sydney and Cape Town -- in what will be the largest event of its type ever staged. The final Antarctic gig will be played by a band of scientists at a research station, Gore said.read more »
On Dec 2, join GivingTuesday by taking part in our first Indiegogo campaign. You'll be helping us create a new toolkit that engages more community participation as it streamlines the process of making an effective Green Map. Hundreds of communities will become more resilient and informed, thanks to your support!
Yes, our network and our in-house team has already created an array of resources - there are general tools - videos - youth tools - interactive resources - mobile tools - and many others tucked away in our blog and other sections. Now, with your help, we can assess all of them and create one streamlined toolkit that builds capacity, incorporates new technologies and offers innovative mapping experiences.
Our network of city agencies, nonprofits, universities, youth and grassroots groups will be involved to assure this adaptable new toolkit will provide what's needed today to encourage action and resiliency and become ever more important with wider stakeholder participation. Moreover, this process will help Green Map project leaders move forward in support of our organization’s trajectory toward going ‘open source’ in 2015.
Over the years, a wide variety of research papers have been written about our work, digging into the outcomes, locally and globally. Now we are in the process of assessing each one for the benefit of future research and for best practice sharing.
The Green Map Research Archive is an ongoing project that began in August 2014. The first phase encompassing 25 diverse papers was recently completed in October, thanks to our fall intern, Shannon Hollenbeck. Currently she is building on the project and moving it into the next phase, which involves converting the archive into an online search tool. Our goal is to make the theses, doctorate and other papers available with their documentation of usage online complementing our current page at GreenMap.org/universities.read more »
Green Map System's climate actions stretch far beyond the Climate Week NYC 2014 events listed below. You are invited to explore What's energizing the Lower East Side? during 2016's walking tour of renewables and bio-design (9/23/16, starts at MORUS, 155 Ave C, at 5:30pm.
Our 2016 creative climate action is a short video that helps cyclists get organized to pitch in during emergencies. Watch it at GreenMap.org/bikeready in English, Spanish Chinese and more!
Follow us on Twitter for updates at @GreenMap and explore how we put Climate and Energy on the map everyday - you can do it too! Register at GreenMap.org/join and use Green Mapmaking to help promote climate awareness and action where you live.
Interested in some of our climate mapping? This slideshow traces 10 years of accomplishments, and this blog share the story of our work for climate health (such as our award-winning Tour video), too.
Museum of Reclaimed Urban Spaces
6:15 - History of Grassroots Activism in NYC
155 Avenue C between East 9th and 10th Streets
Where does change come from? Explore the history of sustainability social movements on the Lower East Side and their impacts on climate and community wellbeing with Bill DiPaolo of Time’s Up and Wendy Brawer of Green Map. Bikes, gardens, composting, green living, maps and more – the power to change is yours.
Friday Sept 26, 5 to 7:30 pm Climate Week Workshop at Green Map System
220a East 4th Street, NYC
Meet at Green Map System and explore how this 65-country social movement is changing how people understand, visualize and take action for their home places. After a quick world tour and video debut, you’ll learn how to bring Green Mapmaking into your community to promote climate health and engage broad participation. Then, take to the street to test your new skills! A condensed but easy walking tour will explore climate impacts in the East Village and ways its unique social fabric address resiliency. This is a Climate Week NYC event, and a diversity of participants is welcome!
We loved taking part in the big march, too (enjoy photos by our tech partner Eric Goldhagen).
M.OpenGreenMap.org is our new Mobile Site Collector for interactive Green Maps! This handy webapp makes it easy for everyone to collect new green sites as they visit them.
Now, Green Mapmakers, tourists, students and locals can collect great green living sites and quickly add up to 8 icons and a photo. Every new site is reviewed by the local Mapmaker, and when it goes live on the map, the person who collected it is notified.
Transforming how Green Maps are made, the Mobile Site Collector can be used with smart phones, tablets or computer. It has 13 language options, thanks to the contributions of the 65-country Green Map network. It even works offline!read more »
Created by Romanian Green Mapmakers and translated into 13 languages by our global network, this new tool is great for workshops, as well as community members and visitors who encounter places that belong on the Green Map. “Now, you can add them as you find them!" said Wendy Brawer, director of the nonprofit Green Map System. "The Collector automatically grabs the location, and all you need to do is select icons, add a little description and snap a photo. Each site is reviewed by the local mapmaker and contributors receive a notice when it’s on the Green Map”.read more »
In July, we took part in organizing a workshop at the United Nations that introduced Green Map’s new Mobile Site Collector to participants from 7 countries - explore the map we made at OpenGreenMap.org/UNdistrict-nyc!
Organized by summer interns Benji Shulman and Samantha Riccio, it was hosted at the head office of Global Action to Prevent War, a UN-based NGO (follow their important work at GlobalActionPW.org). While most participants have a UN connection, the group also included a member of the surrounding Community Board, Manhattan CB 6, which is an appointed advisory liaising with local government on an ongoing basis.
After short introductions and an ice-breaker (where everyone had to share the greenest thing they had done that day) participants were given a brief history of the district and global examples showing how community-engaged mapmaking has been used to build knowledge, networks and action for inclusive, sustainable local development.
Based on her experience making other Open Green Maps with the Collector, Green Map’s summer intern Samantha Riccio then gave a tutorial on how use this new fast, fun tool on mobile phones and tablets. The Collector allows people to collect sites as they encounter them through a simple effective web-app interface on their smart phones. “Offering 13 different languages, the Mobile Site Collector is the perfect tool for this very diverse group. Hopefully it will inspire them to introduce Green Mapmaking to their local communities” said Samantha.
Then the fun really began with participants breaking into groups and spreading out around the UN to make use of their new-found mapping capability. Along with many famous landmarks in the area, smaller sites such as bicycle repair and tailoring shops were also mapped. Some groups even discovered beautiful public spaces that had been unknown to them even though they had worked in the area for some time. In just 45 minutes, participants mapped 14 new sites complete with descriptions, photos and the signature Green Map Icons, showing their engagement and enjoyment in the process.
The workshop included a view of all the newly mapped sites and discussion of ways to improve the presentation. This eclectic group's feedback very helpful as we move toward launching the Collector on August 6th, and planning next steps for our 'Map it Fast' mobile tools. Thanks again to Samatha and Benji for their work on this project and to Global Action, which posted a blog here as well as hosted, and to all the participants.
Can we put 'good' clothes on the map? Explore OpenGreenMap.org/NYCfashion, which shares shops and services for lower impact shopping choices. Created with support from Patagonia Soho, this map is embedded below (along with the code to add it to your own website, as seen in this 2016 Torchlight article). To provide a version you can print for exploring downtown's sites, find a "Jauntful" version as well as a Pinterest of the sites below.
read more »
Green Map System is the kind of place where different things to come together from different places in unusual ways. Much of my work in South Africa involves community relations and interfaith contexts the rest of the time I also have a passion for the environment. I am in New York for the summer doing some volunteer work for Green Map System and a peace and security partner organisation Global for Action to Prevent War. Could you possibly bring all these strands together in one meeting? On my first day at Green Map that is exactly what happened. Here is the story. read more »
We have just started a new volunteer project in partnership with two other local organisations - The Whiteinch Centre and LINKES. The project - Glasgow West Area Volunteer Experience (WAVE) - will develop and enhance volunteering opportunities in the area and the ability of the three partners to host and support volunteers more effectively.
One element of the project is the development of a map of local organisations that provide volunteer opportunities. The online map has gone live with the first seven organisations that want to be included and we have also got a first version of the hardcopy map which is very exciting too!read more »
The Queens Museum hosts beautiful and innovative exhibitions and events, and in May, Green Map System took part in the Open Engagement conference with our partners at the Queens DiverCity Green Map project, Carlos Martinez and Beatriz Gil and the local arts org, Hibridos Collective. Carlos took the wonderful photos here, more are on the group's website.
OE is an annual exploration of various perspectives on art and social justice. This year it focused on a Life/Work theme, and, we found the venue and event to be an ideal showcase for Green Map! Together, we led a virtual tour of New York City around the Panorama – an amazing model of NYC built for the World Fair in 1964, and kept up to date, accurately featuring the city’s streets, buildings and green spaces.
The conference attracted attendees from all over and our 'tour group' included several states and countries. Together, we discussed many noteworthy sites, spread across all five boroughs, as seen on this little map.
We presented both global and local Queens Green Map and explored the use of our shared iconography to express the positive, green and innovative as well as the toxic and hazardous aspects of these various sites. Then, we taught the group how to use our-soon-to-be-released Mobile Site Collector to collect and add more sites to the Green Map we created especially for this event.
Our thanks to the Queens Museum, partners, organizers and participants. We had a great time sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas and exploring new ways to strengthen resiliency in our hometowns!
Wendy, Bernice, Carlos, Beatriz and visitors walking around “New York City”
Visitors share their experiences and assess the potential for mapping for community engagement
Bernice (author of this post) presented one of the New York's most beautiful views - of the Hudson River and the NJ Palisades. During her internship at Green Map, she also published a Green Map of Tel Aviv!
Like being in a virtual helicopter (but without noise!) we strolled across the city in seconds