May 10th, 2010
Used in hundreds of cities and communities around the world, green maps visually depict ecologically and environmentally significant sites throughout a city. Green maps depict natural, built, and cultural amenities that together illustrate the sustainable scope of a place.
Categories include conventional “green” features such as LEED-certified buildings, renewable energy sites, riparian areas, public transportation systems, bike trails and lanes, and others. But green maps may also include locations of: community gardens and local produce markets; recycling and salvaged materials locations; affordable/workforce housing developments; employers with assisted housing or transportation programs for employees; locally-owned businesses; historic and adaptive reuse buildings; and other resources that demonstrate sustainable practices, whether socially, environmentally, or economically.
The Stardust Center enlisted Anne Reichman, Program Manager at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, and members of Sustainable Cities Network to participate with undergraduate students in ASU’s Visual Communication Design course in developing green maps for various cities and segments of the greater Phoenix area. As instructor, Lisa Peña directed the students in their studio work. Cities of Mesa, Peoria and Gilbert participated, as well as the Discovery Triangle Development (for considering a segment along the light rail line). While working with staff and members from these cities and organizations, students identified and developed categories pertinent to the city or area, and created different visual designs to depict the green maps.