With the support of CHARTS, Inspiring Scotland and the Dunoon Area Alliance, Designer Hannah Clinch has been coordinating Green Map maker training in Dunoon. The training aimed to help people identify sustainable resources and assets around Dunoon, and give participants the opportunity to learn how to use Green Map Making tools to create and publish their own digital maps.
“The process of creating a Green Map is collaborative and creative… Green Map making can be used as part of a community consultation process to inform Place Planning or help people tell stories about cultural heritage in map form” - Hannah Clinch
Green Map making tools are a free Open Source, and Green Maps have been created by communities in over 65 countries.
To share what the Green Map making group have been up to in Dunoon, read what Hannah has to say about the project so far.
What is a Green Map?
A Green Map is a map co-created by local people. Green Maps feature community resources such as recycling points, local businesses, community gardens, green energy sites, biodiversity spots, bike routes, cultural assets and social enterprises. They can also highlight challenges such as pollution, gentrification and habitat loss to draw attention to what needs to be addressed in a local community.
All Green Maps use the visual language of the Green Map Icon system to describe features. The icons have been created by a global network of map makers and grassroots activists over many years. Green Map System, which is a not-for-profit organisation based in New York, manage the icons and supports Green Map making across the world.
What were the goals of the Green Map Dunoon training project?
The key goals of the training were to teach people how to use the Green Map making tools and to bring people together to learn more about sustainable development in a Dunoon context.
We also wanted to test out new approaches to community engagement. For example, we offered a Living Wage to people participating in the training, to help people on low and unstable incomes take part in community based learning. We also wanted to test out a flexible, hybrid approaches to learning to see how this impacted on the experience of participants.
What did you do?
Over 4 weeks we facilitated four in-person learning sessions and three online Green Map Training sessions.
The first in person session took place at the POP shop, our design and social innovation studio here in Dunoon. Seven participants from across Cowal attended this session focused on introducing the concept Green Map making and sharing information about the tools.
Subsequent in person sessions were facilitated by different members of our community who led walks and workshops in and around Dunoon. The facilitators included gardener and biodiversity expert Lynne Maclagan of Papaver Gardening, Active Travel and community development practitioner Ann Campbell from the Dunoon Area Alliance and Hazel Walker the Rainforest Delivery Forester from Forestry and Land Scotland.
The online sessions were hosted by myself and Berlin-based Green Map developer Alex Casapu. These sessions took people through the process of setting up a Green Map making team and map using the Green Map Platform.
What were the impacts of the project on your practice and community?
The project gave me an opportunity to find out how to deliver training in a more inclusive way. Paying people to take part and making the learning flexible helped people from remote and rural areas and on low and unstable incomes to take part. This is really important to me, as not everyone in my community can afford to volunteer. I think we need to look at different ways of getting people involved in community-based creative projects to overcome inequities.
I also learnt loads about my own community by participating in the workshops led by other people. Collaboration with different practitioners enriched the learning, and links made during a creative project have been really positive. We also designed some new Green Map icons to represent local environmental assets, including shingle beaches, fungi and marine mammals. One person also suggested an ‘Up Biodiversity’ icon.
These new icons will be shared with the global Green Map making community.
What is next?
Participants are in the process of contributing to a Biodiversity Green map of Dunoon. This will be launched during Green Week in June 2023 and we hope to be able to use this project to raise further awareness and investment into Green Map Making in Scotland.
To find out more about Green Map System go here>
To take a look at the Green Map Platform go here>
To find out more about Hannah Clinch go here>
If you want to know more about training then get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org