Green Map Meeting
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Electron Club, CCA, Glasgow

A brief history of the Glasgow Green Map project

Posted by hannah c Tuesday, 6 February 2007- 3:45 pm
Hi folks, this is my first time as a blogger and not quite sure how I'll take to the format, but here goes.

A few years ago I was lucky enough to obtain a grant from Scotland Unltd to develop a publication called the Glasgow Guide to Charity shops. This was done for number of reasons - a life long love of charity shop shopping, identifying that charity shops loose money when people donate things they can't resell (and it adds up to loads of dosh that could otherwise be used to save cats for example), recognition of the support these enterprises give to people who benefit from the income they generate; the volunteer and training opportunities they provide; the quality low cost goods they provide to people and of course, the positive environmental benefits that reusing items, that would other wise go to landfill or get chucked in my back court.

Whilst carrying out research for the project I came across the Green Mapping System and thought that the concept of Green Mapping linked into the idea of creating a Guide to Charity Shops and promptly signed up to Green Map Glasgow.

The project took a shape with the involvement of 17 students from Glasgow School of Art's Product Design department. The students were recruited to develop prototype guides of Glasgow. As part of the research a Green Mapping Conference was staged at the Science Centre (cunningly titled Green Mapping the Future), with the support once more from Scotland Unltd and Community Recycling Net work Scotland (CRNS) plus a fantastic group of volunteers including Jane Briggs, Neil Mcguire, Davie Anderton, Axelle Camille Melin.

New York based Wendy Brawer, founder of the Green Map System, came over to speak at the conference and lend her support to the project. She and Ian Grout (1 year Product Design tutor) worked with the students to explore the concept of Green Mapping for Glasgow.

The students then went out and about collecting data for the guide and some, in fact most, volunteered in charity shops to gain a better understanding of the work they do.

After 6 weeks of hard work and a few all nighters, 7 prototype guides were

Last year members of the Pollokshields community created a local Green Map of their area (left) which shows how community Green Mapping can work.

Up until this point the Glasgow Guide to Charity Shop project has been on hold, due to funding and a lack of time on my part to develop the concept. However, I am pleased to report that following a generous donation from Glasgow's Community Recycling Forum of nearly £4000 and other bits of money from SEPA, The Generous City Program and the Scottish Executives Increase Fund and hopefully advertising revenue, a printed version of the map marketed under the brand name Dear Green Place, is due for release in April 2007. It will focus on Reuse project i.e projects that take donations of reusable goods and sell them this includes charity shops and emerging social enterprises such as Spruce Carpet - Scotland's first and only carpet reuse solution.

With kind support from the Electron Clu,
Kevin and Co. are coordinating the development of the web based Green Map which will be located at

I am coordinating the development of the over all initiative with help from a volunteer board who are looking at how the concept can be developed most effectively for the city. This involves sourcing funding and exploring the wider applications for Green Mapping in a community development context, which may involve Green Mapping workshops across the city for example.

Over the next few months working with volunteers to produce the first printed guide and support the development of the web based guide, not that I can offer much in the way of programming skills.

For me the purpose of the Green Map for Glasgow is to help make the city a more sustainable place.

Reducing the waste that goes to landfill is a starting point for this, but certainly not the only issue that needs addressed.

How does Glasgow become a more sustainable city? To be quite honest I am not entirely sure it can. We have the worst traffic pollution in Scotland and an emphasise on economic regeneration which centres on the development of shopping centres, airports and roads.

How can a Green Map address this ? Well providing people with better information on things like reuse is certainly one benefit. The other interesting thing about Green Mapping is that the process of mapping brings people together on an issue. Highlighting a problem on a map focus attention on a problem which can result in action to improve, for example, the look and function of a green space - so community empowerment is another outcome of this process. Key to the success of the project is involving people in the project so please comment and feed back information and ideas.

It's worth mentioning that Green Mapping does feature in Glasgow City Councils Environmental Strategy page 30 and the strategy is definately worth a look to understand how the sustainable develoment agenda is being locally interpreted.

And now to end my first blogging session a quote that I think reflects the ambition behind the Glasgow Green Map project.
The future of cities crucially depends on utilising the rich knowledge of their people, and that includes the environmental knowledge...........Cities ultimately reflect their inhabitants. If we decide to create
sustainable cities, we need to create the cultural context for this to
Herber Girardet

cheers hannah
Kevin McDonagh said...
Wowee thats some first post. Shows just how much heart there is behind the Glasgow green map.
6 February 2007 at 22:26
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