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Green Maps for a more sustainable future!

by Green Map System
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Green Maps for a more sustainable future!
Our Founder celebrates Green Map's many milestones
Our Founder celebrates Green Map's many milestones

The date was December 13, 1991. I was in a room full of environmental activists in New York City. The United Nations Earth Summit ‘prepcom’ was soon to come, 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. 

Why? Maps are universally understandable and resource efficient. Most importantly, they share a world view as they guide people to new experiences. Maps ‘work’ for both residents and visitors and, as I later learned, help people more quickly grasp a community’s complexities. 

Later that day, I came up with a name for a folding map that would show the ‘green side’ of the Big Apple, the Green Apple Map. That night, thanks to a curator at Municipal Art Society’s Urban Center Gallery, support for 10,000 copies was in hand! 

The first Green Map was on its way! Immediately, I called a group of eco-designers and activists, and together we breathed life into this concept. We sprang into research and design and a few weeks later, the map ready for printing. We held a launch event on the first day of Spring 1992. It brought together 250 international Earth Summiteers plus a wide range of local folks. In addition to sharing the original Green Map, we hosted a green design tour that highlighted 17 of the 145 sites on the map, with speakers and excitement every step of the way. 

I knew Green Map was a good idea from the original moment of inspiration. Immediately, I could see how teamwork would lead to richer outcomes. Together, we realized the importance of bringing people together to share knowledge and co-create a new, more sustainable vision of home. We fanned the sparks that flew from the original edition, gathering steam to initiate the global movement, all with the involvement of many terrific people.

Today, 25 years after my ‘eureka moment’, I’m amazed at all we have accomplished, yet know we’ve only just begun. With your help, Green Map System will inspire hundreds more communities and thousands more people to address profound community and climate changes and take action today. 

Our new “open” operating system will make its debut in a few weeks. Please pitch in today to help our new platform reach its full potential! 

Thanks to terrific staff, volunteers & interns...
Thanks to terrific staff, volunteers & interns...
...and to shared tools that link our movement
...and to shared tools that link our movement

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Bike Ready - a climate-smart disruption solution
Bike Ready - a climate-smart disruption solution

Be safe this Hurricane Season - be ready, too!

As you may know, generating action to respond to climate change is among the many things Green Map System does. Now, nearly four years since Superstorm Sandy disrupted our office for several days, we worked with local filmmakers to create:

BIKE READY

Framing how New York bicyclists responded in the aftermath of a disaster, this film is becoming a springboard for local preparedness. We hope you will take time to view this 4-minute film, and use the accompanying Guide so you can lead a #BikeReady project in your community too. This project is licensed under a 'copy left' Creative Commons license so you can adapt it as needed. Share it with bike groups, emergency planners and your municipality.

To support solutionary responses that reduce risks in communities worldwide, we created Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish and Japanese editions. All are on the same webpage as the English original, along with other resources to build resiliency, at GreenMap.org/bikeready. This video debuted at the New York Bicycle Film Festival, and has been shown in diverse community and university settings. It was created with support of our neighborhood’s ‘long term recovery group’, LES Ready. 

Cycle daily for climate health, and in the spirit of mutual aid, get ready with Bike Ready!

- you are also invited to our Climate Week tour of renewables and biodesign on 9/23, linked below

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Our Board joins us in thanking GlobalGiving donors
Our Board joins us in thanking GlobalGiving donors

We recently presented at Geo NYC, a terrific monthly exchange that draws about 100 mapping professionals (find it on Meetup.com, linked below). There, we shared progress toward diversifying the mapping platform options that Green Mapmakers can use to meet their varying goals and skills.

Civic Hall hosted our recent workshop, too, where members pitched in as we describe our process and future quest. We’ll soon be sharing more news on this with you, along with other news about our award-winning icons and engagement toolkit.

"As Green Map's Director, I was delighted to be recognized as a Lower East Side Community Hero, alongside a half dozen local luminaires". Wendy Brawer has worked in the community on cycling, green spaces and renewable energy, and our office has been based on the Lower East Side since inception". Later that week, Wendy was invited to the US State Department to meet Brazilian energy experts – her talk is linked below.

Later in June, our Bike Ready is part of the Bicycle Film Festival and other screenings. See this 4 minute film and use it to spark a conversation with your local bicyclists about organizing for emergencies. Cycling is the antidote to many of today’s challenging conditions!

Watch our social media for updates on more events this summer, including at the World Social Forum (Forum Social Mondial - fsm2016.org) in Montreal in August. And have a great season!

Wendy received a LES Community Hero award
Wendy received a LES Community Hero award
40 Chinese SEE members on the Hola LES Tour
40 Chinese SEE members on the Hola LES Tour

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Hola LES, a Green Map of the Future in many ways!
Hola LES, a Green Map of the Future in many ways!

It’s the first day of spring, and a few blossoms herald welcome relief from winter’s grey chill. Regardless, 2016 has already provided a season for progress for Green Map System.

A retreat with our board of directors was especially satisfying as we consider practical ways to address current conditions, and meet our mission of supporting changing communities. We are always grateful for your donations that make it possible for us to welcome new projects on a continual basis, including most recently from Alaska’s Tanana Valley Watershed to Savannah Georgia, Natal Brazil to Madrid Spain, and beyond!

Our own mapping platform has been an important tool for hundreds of communities over the years, but today, with so many great mapping platforms alternatives available, this year, we are making test maps and exploring options. Check out our newest NYC Green Map, Hola LES, which is made on the CartoDB mapping platform. It’s embedded into the story of how it was made, which involved dozens of community members who joined us in considering the future of one neighborhood. Explore the map online, and if you are in NYC on May 7, join us for our Jane’s Walk, commemorating the 100th birthday of this activist who championed new community-based approaches to planning.

The season, our own Green Maps are on view in Women in Cartography exhibit at the Boston Public Library. With Earth Day just around the corner, Green Mapmakers will be taking part in events worldwide. Watch #GreenMap on Twitter to find out where to get involved! We hope you will make this spring one of action and for you and your community.

Women in Cartography Exhibit - Boston Public Lib
Women in Cartography Exhibit - Boston Public Lib
Join us for a Jane's Walk of the Lower East Side
Join us for a Jane's Walk of the Lower East Side

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Some of our 125+ Interns, from near and far
Some of our 125+ Interns, from near and far

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'll also be welcoming new interns, from near and far. They will both give and gain much, as have the 125+ interns we have worked with to date.

Counter-Climate Change Media and Capacity Building

If we are to succeed in fulfilling the mandate of the new Climate agreement, communities worldwide must do more to reducing their footprint and restore waterways, gardens, production and habitats in ways that improve the health and sustainability of all of us.

Thus, the role of Green Map becomes more important. Our map projects have always brought complex issues down to the local level, contributing to healing of the only planet we will ever have.

We impact all global regions. Help us fulfill the promises of Paris and contribute in any way you can.

Wishing you the best for the coming year - may all the changes be in the right direction! Thank you from the entire Green Map network!

Curitiba Brazil's student Green Mapmakers
Curitiba Brazil's student Green Mapmakers
In Cluj-Napoca, Romania the mapmaking is spreading
In Cluj-Napoca, Romania the mapmaking is spreading

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Organization Information

Green Map System

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @GreenMap
Project Leader:
Wendy E. Brawer
Founding Director & Secretary
New York, NY United States

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