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Global News Blog

News and views from Green Map System’s staff, board and our regional Hubs!

NYC’s HOLA LES! Mapping Project

Hola LES! workshop #2 participants

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. 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 »

Summer News!

Summer News and Events with Green Map
A Green Map Update!
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new office, new perspectives!

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 »

Please Help Us Vote for Lumkani to Revolutionize Fire Prevention

Please Help Us Vote for Lumkani to Revolutionize Fire Prevention

The cape Town Green Map would like to offer its support! Plus, we will publish an in depth follow up blog next week! See the end of the article for details.

PLEASE HELP US WITH YOUR VOTE

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 »

Spring News

Mapping New Directions
A Green Map Update!
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mapping new directions

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 »

11th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations In Cape Town

11th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations

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 »

Live Earth Climate Concert in Cape Town in June

Al Gore & Pharrell Williams

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 »

Open Green Map Site Collector

I am excited about the potential for the Open Green Map Site Collector as a tool to enhance green maps as well as increase popularity of use.

Support our New Toolkit

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
A Green Map Update!
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GivingTuesday

Now! on Indiegogo

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. 

Our thanks for your tax-deductible support! Check out the perks when you give online at bit.ly/GMtools - or join us Tuesday night with GivKwik and Indiegogo at ImpactHubNY. read more »

Researching the Research

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 »

Climate Week NYC with Green Map

Participate with Green Map at these Climate Week NYC and several 'climate season' events in which we participated (now moved below the slides on this page). Taking part in the big march (enjoy photos by our tech partner Eric Goldhagen), joining in at forums and meetings (plus exciting announcements by our mayor and state) made us want to declare 2015 as Climate Year in NYC.

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 help promote climate awareness and action where you live.

Interested in some of our climate mapping? This slidedeck traces the history, and this blog share the story of our work for climate health so far...

Many thanks to everyone who took part in these events!

Friday Sept 19, midday
Union Square Greenmarket
Climate Design Pop Up! Get a Green Map there!

3 events on Saturday, 20 September

LUNGS Harvest Festival on the Lower East Side
11AM
Green Mapmaking for Climate Health workshop at a lovely Community Garden, Green Oasis, East 8th St. btwn Aves C & D

Permaculture Skill Share and Music Festival at the Old Stone House of Brooklyn
3:30PM
– Create Your Own Green Map - there are 25 great workshops here!

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!

Lots more events:

Summer Newsletter!

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
A Green Map Update!
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Map it Fast!

Ready for New Participation

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 »

Mobile Site Collector Launches!

We are delighted to launch the new Mobile Site Collector!
It’s super handy for charting green living sites on the go and for involving new participation in Green Mapmaking.

Try it at M.OpenGreenMap.org – complete info and video are at GreenMap.org/mobile.

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 »

1st Green Map Collector Workshop

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.

Use the Collector at M.OpenGreenMap.org

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.

NYC Fashion Map

Can we put 'good' clothes on the map? Explore OpenGreenMap.org/NYCfashion, which shares shops and services for lower impact shopping choices. Open for everyone to contribute new sites, ratings, images and videos, it's embedded below (along with the code to add it to your own website). To reach new audiences and 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 »

10th Taipei Tech Matsu Volunteers Mapping on Beigan Luoshan Nature Trail!

mapping survey on Beigan Luoshan Nature Trail(北竿螺山自然生態區) 2014-7-2

第10屆馬祖服務隊在總召馬家帶領下在北竿螺山吃大蘋果!
在酷暑中正中午的驕陽沒有打敗大家文化踏查的熱情,期待景點訪查的紀錄回報!
更多螺山自然步道的介紹,
可以參考馬祖國家風景區網站
read more »

10th Taipei Tech uni student Matsu volunteer team mapping survey and eating big apples on the Beigan Luoshan Nature Trail.
You can find more information on the

Cape Town Green Map is Runner-Up in the Innovations for Climate Change Adaptation Award

Cape Town Green Map

Cape Town Green Map and the Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation were both runners up in this category of the Greening the Future Awards.

Cape Town Green Map is thrilled to have received this recognition and says 'bravo' to Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation and their community gardening project.

Lisa Johnston reported on the two Innovations for Climate Change Adaptation Award runners up in the Greening the Future supplement in the Mail & Guardian:
Mainstream in Cape Town

When the Cape Town Green Map was launched in 2009 it was with the conscious intention of positioning all things green firmly in the mainstream.read more »

Green Conflict Resolution

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 »

Glasgow WAVE map goes live

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 »

Open Engagement

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

Mangroves and Maps

Images by China Mangrove Conservation Network

#China is now home to dozens of Green Map projects, promoting sustainable lifestyles in many rural and urban communities. We at Green Map System especially appreciate the one initiated by the China Mangrove Conservation Network.

Mangroves play a significant role in coastal ecosystems by stabilizing the shoreline, providing protecting to both wildlife and people against waves and hurricanes. Mangrove forests also have a great capacity of storing CO2. In many places in the world, including China, these important trees are being cut down at an alarming rate for firewood and coastal development. A China Mangrove Conservation Network (CMCN) staff member, Jessica, described the organization’s work:read more »