A global movement that involves more than 800 communities across 65 countries, Green Map is an interactive online mapping platform that enables me and you and ordinary global citizens to become mapmakers and explore green living, nature, social and cultural sites in a city, a village, or a neighborhood; put them online on a map, share it worldwide and even publish it in your local community.
What’s Green Nearby?
The global Green Map System started since 1995 as an NGO with the aim to promote sustainable community development around the world. Green mapmakers can work as a team or individually to plot specific icons on a map, which are categorised under themes such as sustainable living, nature, culture and society, under which more than a hundred sub-categories can be added. Users can post background information about each site as well as photos, videos and comments. Citizens or members from that community can join the map team by suggesting new sites and enhancing the functions. Each green map is a locally initiated project, independently managed by local community members and is either published online or printed (or even painted on a wall as a mural).
Collective mapmaking can harness the power of community engagement, in turn raising awareness about local natural and cultural resources through proactive collaboration. In Japan, regional Green Mapmaking hubs were set up in main cities such as Tokyo and Kyoto for people to share interests and concerns about their surrounding environment. Local projects are connected in a global network and supported with educational programs, events, print and multimedia resources, interactive web and mobile platforms. A Scotland Green Mapmaker said “the map making project let my community understand what sustainable development actually means on a local level”.
Explore your home town with a new vision!
Take the Green Map of my home city Hong Kong as an example: the project was launched by a community-based organisation in May 2013 and 75 specific locations under three main categories “sustainable living, nature and cultural” were added. The project team and volunteer mapmakers mapped places in the city like natural landscapes, wildlife habitats, community-based green businesses/shops, healthy dining places and cultural sites that contribute to the community’s sense of belonging, such as the 300-year old Lai Chi Wo fishing village – one of the most affluent hamlet-settlements in northeastern Hong Kong. A total of 80,000 copies of the Green Map were printed and distributed to the general public, schools, corporations and green organisations. Meanwhile the Green Map of Hong Kong is still expanding and donations are being collected to keep the project running.
How much do you know your community, your city or the village where you have been living for the last 20 years? Tap into your local community with a Green Map. If there is none, start a new one and map your hometown for a harmonious and multi-faceted city life!