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Mapmakers from Colchester, Baltimore and Cape Town

Rowena of Colchester UK visits Green Map

Here in our Green Map System office in East Village, New York, we have been receiving visitors along with their newly made Green Maps. In less than two weeks, we have had Green Mapmakers from Cape Town, Colchester and Baltimore. From the oldest recorded town in Britain to the host city of the 2010 World Cup, they have all raised awareness on sustainable living and resources through their Green Maps.

Colchester, UK

Rowena Macaulay founded Walk Colchester in April 2010. Her fledging group is a community Green Mapping initiative that aims to record and protect the paths, parks, woodlands and open spaces as well as the cultural heritage of this remarkable place by promoting enjoyable, accessible, informed pedestrianism for walkers of all ages and abilities.

Rowena always had a layperson’s interest in urban design and the social landscape. Having grown up in the oldest recorded town in Britain and seeing it develop without much green vision, she decided that Colchester and its residents needed encouragement to reconnect with nature and the community. She wanted to help the residents to be less dependent on cars and to walk more. As a wheelchair user, she discovered a lack of information related to accessibility on any walking map. Rowena feels that “walking” transcends the common physical definition; instead walking is about getting around. The watershed moment was when she drew up a proposal for Walk Colchester as a project during her Masters program. That proposal kick-started the project. Rowena contacted local organizations and started the ball rolling with team building.

Active Web Solutions (AWS) sponsored the website walkcolchester.org.uk and provided expertise and technical help. This is a key reason why the Walk Colchester team managed to put together a terrific website and trails in such a short span of time. The website has since been featured in 2500 printed copies of Colchester 2020 – a walking map created by the local strategic partnership.

Walk Colchester has a few more projects in the pipeline. It hopes to expand the number of walking trails beyond the current Roman, Tudor and Nature trails. This would mean enlisting the community to perform pathway audits and contributing new trails. Themed walks such as a wild food trail, a ghost tour and a Roman circus tour are in the works. In essence, Walk Colchester hopes to reconnect people with walking such that it is pleasurable leisure activity.

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore Green Mapmaker, Janet Felsten, has been involved with Green Map System for almost 10 years. Last week, she visited and presented us with the newest Green Maps. She collaborated with elementary school teachers and taught 5th and 6th graders about Green Map. Ranging from question sheets that asked the students about their favorite icon to an outdoors picnic and walk, she engaged these students to think about sustainability. The final results are two beautiful maps with elements of original scribbles along the edges as seen at BaltoGreenMap.org

Janet has worked with numerous classes and universities as well as NGOs throughout this charming East Coast US city. Her expertise is invaluable to her community as well as the global Green Map movement, where she is a member of our International Advisory Council. In addition to being one of the first to utilize the Open Green Map platform and to embed the resulting interactive map in her own website, Janet has published a beautiful printed Green Map of Baltimore that is currently on display at the National Design Triennial.

Cape Town, South Africa

The Cape Town Green Map celebrated its debut in parallel with the worldwide launch of the Open Green Map on World Environment Day, June 5, 2009. It's the first in Africa, and the City and talented team behind the project have truly made this a social mapping process, as evidenced by their blog posts. We are delighted at how this project has developed and their online showcase.

This June 5th, Mr Philip Todres visited Green Map System and presented Wendy with the brand-new second print edition of the Cape Town Green Map, coinciding with the FIFA 2010 World Cup Games. This delightfully designed edition is currently available to the World Cup fans and Cape Town residents alike. It is all part of Cape Town’s Green Goal 2010 Initiative! Check their website for more information on Cape Town Green Map's objectives and outcomes.