UVic’s Community Mapping Highlights

The Department of Geography’s Map Shop located at the University of Victoria, a long-time partner with the global Green Map System, has produced over 60 print and online community maps since 1999, with community groups, First Nations, NGOs and governments.  These action-oriented projects have addressed food sovereignty, social justice, healthy environments, climate adaptation, culture/language revitalization, gender equity and more. The Map Shop also supports a community mapping course offered 3 times per year with 4-6 community partners/projects each semester. Projects unfold in ‘chapters’ with new cohorts of students each term to better support the community’s timeline and ensure continuity and long-term relationships.

This term we have some exciting projects taking shape including partnerships with three Community Associations – Oaklands, North Park and Gonzales - focused on various themes involving green space, biodiversity, tree canopy; resilience and disaster preparedness; densification; cycling, walking, transit routes; affordable housing, gentrification; diversity, inclusion, and access to services. More images here!

The Oaklands ‘Map of Resilience’ was developed by the student cohort team in the Fall of 2019 and focused on mapping the natural, built, and community resources located in Oaklands, and what the community needs to become more resilient in case of an emergency.  This term, the student team will build on this work and collaborate with the local High School to discover safe biking routes in the neighborhood. Both these mapping projects are part of the visioning process for the new Oaklands Neighborhood Plan.

Continuing with O_CHI (our community health initiative) partnership, we are working to co-develop tools, event planning and data visualization for the Transgender / 2 Spirit communities. Themes include self-identified medical, esthetic, counseling services; community support, meeting / gathering spaces, restaurants, clothing / food shopping. We are also exploring the development of a heat map to document incidences of hate and negative police interactions.

The Victoria Urban Reconciliation Dialogue (VURD), co-lead by the Victoria Native Friendship centre and other organizations in the region, is an exciting new partnership.  This project and our student team will engage over 300 people at a special event in February 2020 in Coast Salish territory, helping to map reconciliation in the region. Preliminary discussions include mapping themes on education, relationships, decolonization/systems change, physical spaces and art as expressions of reconciliation. This project supports taking action on recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action, framed by the UNSDG's and Indigenous Social Determinants of Health.

And finally, we are partnering with the Moose Hide Campaign, a grassroots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys working to end violence towards women and children.  Taking an asset-based approach, some of the initial discussions include mapping stories of kindness, love, humility and respect on campus.  The event, scheduled for Valentine’s Day (February 14th) will also help build awareness and mobilize students and faculty to join the MHC Day of Gathering and Fasting on February 24th in Victoria BC. 

We are excited to share this news with the Green Maps team and look forward to sharing some of the results of the UVic Community Map Shop with you all.

 Crystal Tremblay, Ken Josephson and the Community Mapping class (more images here)


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