Cape Town Green Map – ‘Think global, map local!’

Living in a sustainable way is possible today, but a lot of people don’t know how to do. Yet it is easy, only a few changes must be made. In 2009, one year before the soccer world cup in South Africa, the city of Cape Town launched the first edition of ‘Cape Town Green Map’, an online and printed map which shows to the residents how they can live in a ‘green way’. Four years after this event, the project is still going on… and maybe a ‘South Africa Green Map’ will be created in the next years!

Living in a sustainable way is possible today, but a lot of people don’t know how to do. Yet it is easy, only a few changes must be made. In 2009, one year before the soccer world cup in South Africa, the city of Cape Town launched the first edition of ‘Cape Town Green Map’, an online and printed map which shows to the residents how they can live in a ‘green way’. Four years after this event, the project is still going on… and maybe a ‘South Africa Green Map’ will be created in the next years!

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Arne Purves, Project Manager of Cape Town Green Map

Why Cape Town Green Map was created?

“Basically Green Map was created to promote and show residents of Cape Town how they can be more sustainable in what they are doing: where they live, where they work, where they play.”

“The goal is to let residents understand what they can find around them and how they can change their lifestyles in a meaningful way to support the initiatives around and be more sustainable.”

How does it work exactly?

“The Green Map consists on an online web platform using the ‘Open Green Map system’. From that we draw listings and we produce a printed Green Map which people can get as a hard copy map.”

When Cape Town Green Map was created?

“The map was created in 2009. We started the project for the 2010 world cup. It was one action of the official ‘Green Goal Program’, which was the greening program for the 2010 soccer world cup. We launched the map for the world environment day in 2009 with our online platform.”

What are the main results that you are proud of?

“In four years we have produced four edition print maps, covering several themes over that time. For the world cup we really wanted to showcase Cape Town to the world, and following on that, COP17 and Durban Climate Change Conference. We had a theme on transports, promoting mobility and energy savings and how to reduce carbon footprint. So, we are really proud that we have managed to produce a map each year since the project started, and make it relevant to residents.”

You are a member of the NGO ‘Open Green Map’, why did you set this partnership?

“Open Green Map network in New York is obviously a global network and it made sense for us to partner with them. They had developed this unique system of global icons they use on their maps. Their slogan is ‘think global, map local’! It gave us immediate access to a mapping platform but it also gave us immediate access to a global audience, which is what we wanted. We are one of the first Green Map projects to develop an online platform as well as a hard copy map.”

Since 2009, what was the biggest difficulty you met?

“The difficulty for us has been sustaining the funding to produce the maps as well as to manage the website. Two people are working to keep the information and the content up to date, which is a challenge.”

How do you fund the project each year?

“At the moment the project is primarily funded by the city of Cape Town, and also through sponsorships.”

Now, there are four cities in South Africa which did a green map, what are the next challenges?

“The challenge for us is to grow the platform to other cities. At the moment, we have Johannesburg, Durban and KwaZulu Natal Midlands which are involved. We would like to spread it as far as we can throughout Africa and really promote green mapping as a tool to be used.”

Do you use Cape Town Green Map every day?

“Yes, I view it every day! But obviously as one of the creators of the map, when you are placing listings you cannot much use it every day.”

A last word?

“We just encourage people to come and visit our online platform at www.capetowngreenmap.co.za, join our social media networks, and help us grow our sustainability projects in Cape Town!”

… and it is totally free?

“It is completely free.”
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Interview conducted in February 2014.

Source: SA – The Good News via SparkTour Africa