• Wed, 27 Dec 2017 20:49:36 GMT

    Ahead to 2018

    Mapping for Change in 2018
    A Green Map Update!
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    Make our 2018 powerful

    Put a healthy, sustainable future on the map! Please contribute today.
    Story Map by Jake Greenberg (Brandeis 2018) made during his summer with us at Green Map

    We are coming to the end of a difficult year for the environment. At Green Map, our work to engage people at the local level is more important than ever!

    • 21 new Green Map projects were started around the world this year. From Jayapura Indonesia to Gainesville Florida to Seville Spain, these projects are tackling greater complexities and bringing more people to the table, in support of healthy, resilient communities in 65 countries. Follow the list at

    • The SDGs are a new United Nations framework. These 17 Sustainable Development Goals) are matched with Green Map Icons at

    • In New York in 2017, our director’s TED Residency was a great experience!  Watch Wendy’s TED Talk, and read about her 14 week experience in our blog.

    • We took part in a thoughtful conference on ecosystem services in Oaxaca Mexico this fall, along with youth stewardship project leaders from Irapuato  - joint report.  Green Map joined the Intermapping and explored the circular economy in Florence.  

    • Locally, our talks, walks and community partnerships (like this fall's Climate Week, New School and Grassroots Alliance events) connected us with new audiences. Green Map is part of a neighborhood effort to restore a park building and contributes to an 'infrastructure reuse' project in Queens, too. 

    • Our open trajectory has more coming up:

        New Stories-based open website
        Mapping our Common Ground, book, third edition 
        Creation of Green Map Icons as Icons as digital stickers (SDG-linked) 
        Check out “Learning Tech for Sustainability” and see how Esri’s Story Map platform complements Green Mapmaking  

    • Awards in 2017 include: 
           The (En)Rich List, Honorable Mention, Post Growth Institute
            NYC Service Certificate (see

    Green Mapmaking is a concrete action that promotes local agency, addresses climate and political fears, and helps build a better future. Thank you for your support via

    We invite you to contact us anytime with your ideas to help shine a sustainable light on all of the 982 communities that we serve. Our best wishes for 2018!

    Banners at Jayapura Indonesia Peta Hijau (Green Map) gathering, December 2017
    Contact Us

    Our address is:
    Green Map System
    292 East 3rd Street, #1A
    New York, NY 10009
    +1 212 674 1631

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  • Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:29:37 GMT

    TED Talk!

    2017 began in an exciting way - our founding director and Green Map were selected for a TED Residency. Now after a wonderful stint working at TED being connected with new ideas, new media and great people, we are delighted to present Wendy’s TED Talk.

    This talk shares the future of Green Map, which has gone ‘open source’ to encourage fresh new kinds of mapping and projects that advance our mission of inclusive participation in sustainable, resilient community development. We’re excited to see what this new approach (with a Creative Commons 4.0 license that invites users to freely use the Green Map Icons on non-commercial projects of any kind, adapt and share them provided that you give credit to Green Map System (yes, we are happy to discuss commercial uses, too!). More on this in our soon to launch new website!

    What was it like working at TED? Here’s a glimpse into the space, and as a Resident, you were free to sit anywhere, go to any presentation, use the meeting rooms, etc. Our residency cohort of 23 people, plus the two wonderful organizers, had our own wing of the office, and as you can see from Steve Rosenbaum’s series of articles on Huffington Post, it’s a lively group (I’m in the Day 14 post). Every day, there were notable guests, workshops and opportunities to expand your horizons, leading up to the magic moment when we delivered our talks, all in one evening - here is the TED Residents channel, where you can see them all (my cohort is Spring 2017)!

    All of this capped off with something that was apparent from Day 1 - being part of a now 85 member Residency that really never ends. I especially value these new friends, all of whom don’t hesitate to help one another move forward in this crazy world. If this sounds like something you want, there are two new groups a year, and right now, the application for Spring 2018 is open.

    I’m so grateful to have this TED Talk to share with you! I’ve also placed this 6 minute video on my new website, see it at on the Speaking page, along with a selection of other talks. Please share it, embed it, and help the future of Green Map along the way!

    Your feedback is welcome under my talk on the TED Residents channel or via email (info at, and of course, your contributions are gratefully accepted too, here on or for a #GivingTuesday Match, use our Global Giving page.

    I have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, including you and your own efforts to make this world a better place!

    - Thank you from Wendy Brawer, founding director, Green Map System

  • Thu, 07 Sep 2017 17:09:12 GMT

    Climate for Change - Our Actions & Events

    A Green Map Update!
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    Climate on our Mind

    think global, map local!

    With extreme flooding, record-breaking hurricanes, and too many places under threat, climate action remains our gravest challenge. How can we, together, best face this existential crisis? Let's do more for our home planet. Join us at three events listed below.  At Green Map, we have worked to reduce climate impacts at the community level since Day One, providing a direct means to communicate local options for sustainable living and towards a healthier, more just and lovable city.  As we give people the tools needed to conduct local eco-assessments, we equip them to make real change, shifting perspectives about community assets and liabilities and contributing to positive, cross-cutting actions with across the board benefits. Climate-themed Green Maps have been made in Thailand, South Korea, Spain and other places, as presented at the Crisismappers conference. 
    In addition, we have placed climate action on many NYC Green Maps and encouraged more engagement through events, media and consulting. Indeed, every Green Map we've made has included energy efficiency and renewables!

    Our 2006 Powerful Green Map was the first with an in-depth climate perspective, followed by interactive editions that help NYC reduce impacts through waste minimization and bicycling.

    This work grows in meaning each year as Green Map contributes to the creation of green sites in addition to mapping them. Our NYC collaborations include: a community climate action lab, a net zero building, community green infrastructure, solar, preparedness and regeneration projects.

    Please join us at the three climate-related events noted below, and help us make meaningful changes, today and every day, in support of a truly regenerative culture!
    It's a great time to give today. Put a healthy, sustainable future on the map.
    Fall 2017 Events in Manhattan

    Storms & the City
    Are We Prepared?

    Grassroots Alliance Meetup
    Sept 11 - 6:30 PM
    Ethical Culture Center, 2 W 64th St
    Our Director will share our local projects, including creating Bike Ready, a bicyclists organizing video; development of the Stanton Building; and more.

    Lower East Ride with Green Map on a Shared Bike!
    Our Climate Week NYC Event

    Sept 20 - 5:30 PM
    East 10th Street east of Avenue A at the bike station

    RSVP and join the ride! We’ll tour several energy innovations and bio design projects. You can reserve a borrowed Citi Bike! Great speakers and sites!

    Preparing for Today:  Urgency, Engagement & Action in the Age of Uncertainty
    Our Sandy 5th Anniversary Event 

    Oct 25 - 6:30 PM
    The New School, Wollman Hall,  65 West 11th Street Room B500

    Let’s work together on a prototypical community space for social resiliency, and contribute to a model for NYC Parks! Join the Stanton Building Task Force of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition, the Tishman Environment Design Center and The New School for this evening event.

    Our thanks to sponsors, LES Ready and The School of Constructed Environments, Parsons. 

    looking forward to seeing you there
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    Our address is:
    Green Map System
    292 East 3rd Street #1A
    New York, NY 10009
    +1 212 674 1631

    Green Map Climate Projects Overview 8-17.pdf1.62 MB
  • Sun, 19 Mar 2017 20:27:00 GMT

    Green Map & TED!

    Excitingly, our director, Wendy Brawer is now a TED Resident!

    With 14 weeks of support to further the development of Green Map as an 'idea that matters" the residency culminates in the making of a TED Talk (see some of the most popular and search all of them here).

    As you can guess, Wendy is delighted that she and Green Map are included. Based at TED's NYC offices, the Residency program curates a co-hort of 20 accomplished people, all briefly introduced in TED's blog. Wendy, pictured above at the start of the program, promises to add more to this post as the weeks go by.

  • Tue, 13 Dec 2016 14:39:50 GMT

    25 Years Today!

    Wendy Brawer at the Papanek Social Design Awards in Vienna (photo by Peter Aiolovia, 2011)

    The date was December 13, 1991. I was in a room full of environmental activists in New York City. The @UnitedNations Earth Summit ‘prepcom’ was coming up, 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. Within 24 hours, we plunged into research and design - a few weeks later, voila! the map ready for printing.

    The first day of Spring 1992: Green Map’s first launch event took place. 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.

    Thank you from Wendy Brawer, founder and director

  • Tue, 10 May 2016 00:58:20 GMT

    Bike Ready

    Generating action to respond to climate change is among the many things Green Map System does, as seen here. In May 2016, we worked with local film makers to create a new resource:


    Framing cyclists’ response in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, this film has become a springboard for local preparedness. Along with the 4-minute film, in 2016, we created an adaptable Bike Ready Organizing Guide you can download as a PDF or .Doc so you can be #BikeReady too.

    Filmed in NYC neighborhoods impacted by 2012’s devastating storm, Bike Ready turns powerful footage into a resource for organizing bicyclists for emergency response. Scenes include getting around when the subway and gas stations are closed, mutual aid bike repair, cyclists delivering hundreds of pounds of relief supplies and using pedal power to generate the electricity needed to recharge phones.

    With its solutionary approach to addressing the 'new normal', this video and guide are designed to help communities get organized. Watch it with fellow cyclists and start planning! Produced by Green Map System and directed by Peter Shapiro with support from Occupy Sandy Relief, the volunteers of Time’s Up, and LES Ready. More about this readiness and resiliency-building project will be added to this page,

    Now Available! Chinese, Spanish and Japanese versions, thanks to Kuan-Yi Chen, Francisco Cernusco, and Shingo Nishida. Thanks to everyone at LES Ready for supporting the translation! Watch full screen.


    Thanks to Peter's great editing, Bike Ready debuted in the Bicycle Film Fest on June 25, 2016. We have also created other climate projects, including a how-to video on designing high impact bike tours that won a Creative Climate Award.

    Review Green Map's climate response, including local maps and community projects In and our presentation about Bike Ready,, with the lead up to the project.

    Comments, ideas, welcome! Here is the transcript, in case you are curious. Please contact us or tweet at #BikeReady.

    Green Map's climate mapping and interventions began in 2006, as described on this page and at Crisismappers conference.

    Other cycling resources we have found include this article about relief ride participation and NYC biking rules. Lots going on in Portland, from the basics to commuter bikes to cargo bikes. Here's the competitive Disaster Relief Trials, too. Here are some bike generator parts and a Time's Up video about Occupy Wall Street's energy bikes. Bike Collectives are everywhere, too! More to come...

  • Wed, 02 Mar 2016 17:24:19 GMT

    Hola LES NYC Green Map

    Mapping the green spaces of today and tomorrow’s developments

    The Hola LES Green Map charts the speculative future of the ever-changing Lower East Side, highlighting existing resources as well as conceptual projects that contribute to the community’s sustainability and sense of place.

    Manhattan's vibrant Lower East Side is on the forefront of climate change, like all coastal communities, and this map was developed as a resource to help increase the green spaces, sustainability and resiliency of the neighborhood. The Hola LES map highlights existing green living resources, development projects that are transforming the neighborhood, and speculative design ideas that can increase sustainability and resiliency.

    The map (linked here with legend) includes research gathered during three mapping workshops, interviews with community members, historical research, and through participation in Community Board 3 meetings. It was built using the Carto mapping engine platform and Green Map icons. Below, find the embed code to add this to your website!

    A nice crowd joined on a tour to celebrate this map's launch on Saturday May 7, 2016 - the event was both a Jane's Walk and a LES History Month event. Excitingly, later in May, our Director was named an LES Community Hero (photo to come).

    The goals of the mapping workshops, which were held in Siempre Verde Garden in 2015, were two-fold: to map the current green space and sustainable living resources and to find underutilized space with sustainable development potential. The workshop participants explored the 36 blocks between Sara D Roosevelt Park and Hamilton Fish Park from HOuston to DeLAncey streets (“Hola”). We discovered places where new green spaces could be created from currently vacant tree pits and swaths of bare earth as well as excessive paving that could be greened, an emerging Green Wall, and hidden-in-plain view gardens. We also learned where solar panels are powering neighborhood buildings, about cycling resources, initiatives to re-purpose Parks buildings for community use, and more.

    Our workshops included discussion about green infrastructure to address storm water, a problem that confronts many New York City neighborhoods (the 15 ‘combined sewer’ overflow points in East River Park are evidence of this condition). We discovered underutilized green spaces that could be enhanced, gardens where rain barrels could be installed, asphalt that could become permeable, and bare earth around a housing development that could be utilized as a rain garden or bioswale. These solutions enable natural systems to work more smoothly, so that storm water is sponged up and slowed down, which will help prevent flooding in the community and the overflows that pollute the East River.

    There are several development projects currently underway that impact the Lower East Side and are relevant to the sustainability of the Hola LES neighborhood. The largest is the Essex Crossing development that will add 1000 new apartments and new retail spaces to the area. In addition, gentrification is an ongoing process, with older buildings being torn down or converted to luxury housing. The map charts these new building developments from 2005 to the present.

    The Big U is a 335 million dollar project that will create a barrier around lower Manhattan to reduce storm surge impacts. With community engaged in planning, the first section will break ground due east of Hola LES in 2017. NYC Community Garden Coalition's 2-million dollar "Gardens Rising" project will add another sustainable layer to the neighborhood. Launched in November 2015, green infrastructure will be planned with 47 community gardens, including the five on the Hola LES map.

    Other, more local projects include: the updating of the landmarks spaces Bluestocking bookstore, the Essex Market and ABC No Rio; the Suffolk Tree Stewards, who have taken the initiative to improve the trees and tree pits in and around their block, and the projected "Lowline"project, which could become the world’s first underground park.

    The Lower East Side has a unique built environment. Looking back via the Viele Map and historical references, we can see how waves of immigrants transformed land where the Lenape people had lived, building tenements, places of work and worship as the population grew. Today, income disparity, litter, lack of green space and car traffic are challenges that we residents of the Lower East Side must address to assure the vitality of this dense, diverse community.

    And yes….
    We mapped outside our original line to include more resilient living resources beyond our catchment area. Just above Houston Street, we added the Commuter Compost Drop off, the Wald Houses Community Garden and around on the riverside, the forthcoming SolSpherica solar charging station and the Big U flood barrier. On the south, it’s easy to spot an EV charger and a green roofed building, extending our Hola LES vision beyond the catchment.

    Embed (no Legend):

    Embed (with Legend):

    There's always more to map - contact us if you’d like to pitch in. The future needs all of us!

    Credits: Green Map System, Wendy Brawer and Alice Arnold (a2studio), Marc Shifflett plus interns Daniel Solow, Leopold Monjole, Priya Bhashyam and Sharona Allameh. Made with support from the Partnerships for Parks Capacity Fund Grant, made possible by the City Parks Foundation thanks to the Parks Equity Initiative of the New York City Council under the leadership of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

  • Thu, 02 Jul 2015 23:27:45 GMT

    NYC’s HOLA LES! Mapping Project

    Hola LES! workshop #2 participants

    What is Hola LES? It’s the name of a new Green Map project that covers 36 blocks between two city parks, from HOuston Street to DeLAncey (Hola!) streets on Manhattan's Lower East Side. This hands-on project is designed to highlight not only the existing green spaces around the LES but also to identify potential for new green spaces and green infrastructure. Along the way, we are involving different groups of stakeholders and testing out different mapmaking methods.

    Workshops in May and June were led by us and project partner Professor Alice Arnold. Starting from Siempre Verde Community Garden, the workshop included a discussions at both ends of the neighborhood walking tour. Workshop #1 included many Civic Corps volunteers while #2 was a global affair, with attendees from Brazil, Japan, Denmark, India and the US. We're planning neighborhood residents and youth workshops later this season.

    As we walked, we noticed and mapped plenty of trees planted along the sidewalk and empty ‘tree pit’ space around them, which has potential to be used as floral beds to make the neighborhood more beautiful and appealing. We marked tiny spaces as well as existing gardens, even the proposed ‘Lowline’, which could become the world’s first underground park. The project has support from Partnerships for Parks and eventually the resulting map will stretch from Sara D Roosevelt Park to Hamilton Fish Park.

    Priya Bhashyam, our intern, noted, “The neighborhood walk was an eye opening experience; it not only showed us the existing green spaces (including gardens, potential green walls) but also how much potential the neighborhood has to make it more greener and resilient.”

    A few images from #1 are here, our thanks to Peter Fahrni for the photo above. We look forward to sharing the outcomes of this project with you!

  • Thu, 25 Jun 2015 19:24:49 GMT

    Summer News!

    Summer News and Events with Green Map
    A Green Map Update!
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    new office, new perspectives!

    Green Map has ‘moved the mountain’. Yes, after nine years of great progress and global accumulation, we have moved into a new office in the same East Village neighborhood. We said goodbye to the Connelly Center, which is expanding its school into our former space, and relocated two blocks east. Overlooking a community garden and a lively urban streetscape, our new space brings us closer to our diverse community and local sustainability efforts. Our new address is 292 East Third St, #1A. We’ll be ready for visitors soon, and a fresh flock of summer interns is starting this week.

    Projects this season include updating the Mapping our Common Ground book, which focuses on community mapping and grassroots sustainability. Created with Green Mapmakers in Cuba, Brazil, the US and Canada in 2006, much of the book will be completely revised with our network's involvement. The project is led by the great team at University of Victoria, and partly funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Our June 24 workshop in NYC builds on this project!

    We’re also continuing work developing our research archive, shifting our mapping platform and gearing up for new road map (pictured above) and 20th anniversary activities developed by design student teams this spring. Yes, you can support our 20th year any time! Our board has expanded, too, adding Meredith Gray of the Coop School, Lela Prashad of NiJel, and Chelsea Wittman of Google. Our appreciation to outgoing board members Lara Penin and Randy Meech, too.

    Thanks to his generous volunteering, our Board President Thomas Turnbull was recognized with the Mayor’s NYC Service certificate. Our director was honored as a  'Climate sHero' by Human Impacts Institute, along with a diversity of creative women. There’s a longer StoryCorps dialogue with the remarkable Jean Gardener, and a featured clip that highlights the work of Detroit Green Mapmaker, Deanne Bednar.

    Hola LES! Design Research Mapping Tour

    Wednesday June 24


    Starts and ends at Siempre Verde Garden
    181 Stanton St
    Lower East Side

    The gardens, parks and green spaces of Manhattan’s Lower East Side are cherished places. 

    The Hola LES! project is designed to highlight both existing gardens and to elevate the potential of creating new green space in this community. In this way we can build a more inclusive, greener and resilient neighborhood, and develop new mapmaking techniques to share across the city and with the Green Map network.

    This is the second of a series created with Alice Arnold, with the next workshop in August.

    More info and photos;

    Please RSVP - all ages are welcome. Email


    Women in Cartography: Celebrating 400 Years of Unsung Contributions to the Mapping World

    Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education

    Continues  in Maine until 10/8/15, then opens in Boston
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    Our address is:
    Green Map System
    292 East 3rd Street, #1A
    New York City, 10009
    212 674 1631

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    Copyright © 2014 Green Map System Inc., All rights reserved.
  • Fri, 03 Apr 2015 22:09:51 GMT

    Spring News

    Mapping New Directions
    A Green Map Update!
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    mapping new directions

    At Green Map, we’re in the process of moving! Not just where we work, but also in some ways, how we work.  As always, it’s an exciting journey in support of positive change.

    This spring, we are starting the process of ‘going open’. It will take some time to fully explore options and set the course forward together with our beloved Board of Directors, Green Mapmakers worldwide, student teams from social design programs at Parsons and SVA, and members of the open source community. We invite your participation in this process. We believe going open will make it easier to for people to extend the usefulness of our outcomes and contribute leadership, energy and expertise that enhances our global movement.

    Why? Our world and climate are changing quickly. More people need to be involved immediately to meet the new challenges we face, and Green Maps can help them do that!  Going open will help us share and further develop our toolkit more sustainably, equitably and collaboratively.

    Watch for more news about our journey to open as 2015, our 20th anniversary year, rolls out! We’d love to hear from you.

    In the meantime, we’re gearing up for a change in location: after eight great years, our uber-nice office will be turned into a classroom over the summer, so we are soon to encamp at a new Lower Manhattan location. Once all the dust settles, we will tell you where we’ve landed – and yes, there will be a party to say “goodbye and hello again,” in the near future.

    Above - Korean exhibition introduces global Green Maps.
    Below - Green Map Board members Carlos Martinez and Lara Penin review Parsons students' work
    at the DESIS Lab in March, supporting our forthcoming 20th anniversary celebration. 


    Putting Vibrant Communities
    on the Green Map

    NY Map Society

    Saturday, April 11
    2:30 - 4:00 pm

    The New York Society for Ethical Culture
    2 W 64th Street, NYC


    Community Mapping Collaboratory


    Growing Innovation and Visions:

    The Common Ground Community Mapping Institute and Celebration

    April 13-14
    University of Victoria and Common Ground
    Victoria British Columbia


    Women in Cartography: Celebrating 400 Years of Unsung Contributions to the Mapping World

    Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education

    Continues  in Maine until 10/8/15, then opens in Boston
    Google +
    Contact Us

    Our address is:
    Green Map System
    220A East 4th Street
    New York City, 10009

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    Copyright © 2014 Green Map System Inc., All rights reserved.