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Green Map System
Communication, Community, Environment
Think Global, Map Local!
Green Map System empowers a diverse community-led movement charting local natural, social and cultural resources in over 50 countries with our award-winning icons, multi-lingual websites and resources, workshops and regional hubs. Join us in changing perspectives as we chart a sustainable future!
THE MISSION of the Green Map System is to promote sustainability and community participation in the local natural and built environment. Green Map System offers adaptable tools and a global iconography for making environmental and cultural maps, empowering local project leaders to give familiar places a fresh perspective. Green Maps function as practical guides to greener living while helping spread model initiatives to new locations.
Green Map System aims to:
• Help people of all ages represent and share their local eco-cultural resources
• Promote model greening efforts underway in communities across the globe
• Build inclusive networks that expedite progress toward sustainability
• Employ the info-web in service of the web-of-life
• Learn from the beauty, brilliance and diversity of nature
Together, we will make our hometowns better, healthier places!
Over time, our community media vehicle has expanded to chart not just cities but also rural villages, small towns and bioregions. Now active in over 345 diverse locations in more than 45 countries, all Green Map projects help create and also benefit from our resourceful approach.
News & Events
Our new multilingual, multi-voiced GreenMap.org debuted in May 2007.
Our updated iconography debuted in March 2008 (see GreenMap.org/icons).
Our open interactive Green Mapmaking website is in development! Please see GreenMap.org/ggm - and get involved!
Before there was a Green Map System there was an original Green Map, the Green Apple Map of New York City. It was created by Wendy Brawer and Modern World Design and published twice in 1992. This map received a tremendously positive response from New Yorkers and other urban dwellers who wanted to replicate the project back home. These inquiries led Wendy to conceptualize a systematic, collaborative approach to mapmaking that would be useful to both residents and visitors in communities around the world.
A globally designed, shared set of Icons to symbolize the green sites was the perfect "heart" for the budding Green Map System, but there was still the question of communicating worldwide. Fortunately, in 1995, with the help of the O2 Global Network, an international eco-designers' group, the Green Map concept met the internet. Its potential for facilitating worldwide communication and project development was immediately clear, and GMS now relies daily on email, a listserve and our online presence.
GMS was initiated on March 25, 1995 as a global organization surrounded by a constellation of locally-led Green Map projects. The globally designed, shared Icons and adaptable Mapmaker's tools began to take shape in an "open source" manner, as participants mentored one another, shared their experiences and helped to guide others. As work on the Icons and Green Map methodology continued, participants' outreach helped GMS spread further around the world. GMS's website expanded, and at the same time, copies of GMS materials were distributed to those working without computers. The number of participants began to soar (one city joined each week in 1997, and by 2001, we were up to 40 new projects annually, now we top 60 new projects every year!), GMS began to receive good press and recognition, and wonderfully designed Green Maps began making their appearance. Today, hundreds of unique, regionally influenced Green Maps are guiding millions to experience their hometowns in a whole new way.
Cross-cultural exchanges and Mapmaker contributions have kept GMS continuously evolving and expanding. Today, the program is truly global, with participants on every continent who are skillfully adapting GMS's "inspiration engine" and using it to make positive impacts in their communities.
By mid-1998, an internal support structure was being created, and GMS sought not-for-profit status of its own (thanks to early fiscal sponsor Architects Designers Planners for Social Responsibility). Our US 501c3 not-for-profit organizational status was confirmed in April 2000. Since then our program has grown more complex and exciting with each passing year, even while we strive to decentralize and build local capacity for leadership through the development of supportive regional and national Green Map Hubs.
At GMS, we are finding that working together towards our visions of sustainable community is an effective, celebratory and fruitful pathway toward more healthy and economically vital communities.
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Posted October 20, 2008
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