Greening the Map

Date/Time: 22/02/2017 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Is green mapping just a means to create interesting data displays for enthusiasts or a real tool to help tackle our unfolding environmental crisis? We invite two leading environmentalists to debate this question.

The Development Planning Unit (UCL) 34 Tavistock Square, London WC1

Wednesday 22nd February 6-8 pm

Mapping Urban Nature

Matthew Gandy

The mapping of urban nature forms part of a wider politics of biodiversity that makes nature visible in a variety of ways from large-scale cartographic projections to small-scale excursions through city streets. Without a richer conception of urban ecology, that is connected with an appreciation of historical connections and contemporary entanglements, it is difficult to see how a progressive kind of global environmental politics can emerge that is rooted in an enlightened urban consciousness rather than a yearning for imaginary spaces of nature that lie outside of modernity.


Matthew Gandy is Professor of Geography at the University of Cambridge. His publications include Concrete and clay: reworking nature in New York City (The MIT Press, 2002), The fabric of space: water, modernity, and the urban imagination (The MIT Press, 2014), and Moth (Reaktion, 2016), along with articles in New Left Review, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Society and Space and many other journals. He is currently researching the interface between cultural and scientific aspects to urban bio-diversity.


Putting a new colour on the map – the development of ‘green mapping’

Chris Church

This presentation will look at how some environmental groups were early adopters of GIS, and how ‘Green Maps’ (initially in London and New York) pioneered participative mapping of local action. This early work raised questions that still persist – such mapping is a good exercise in building a community of interest, but are the maps actually used beyond the immediate campaigning context?


Mapping can in the right circumstances be a powerful tool ‘for change’, and there are numerous examples of community-focused mapping that have generated both awareness and engagement along with lasting change. Examples from the work of Mapping for Change, a social enterprise based at UCL, will show how this has been achieved. The talk will also look at emerging work around mapping land use and who owns what and how this is feeding into planning and development issues.


Chris Church is a co-founder and Director of Mapping for Change. He has 25 years’ experience of work combining sustainable and community development. He previously worked as local and regional development manager for Friends of the Earth UK, and is now on the Board of FoE. He also chaired the London 21 network that set up the innovative London Green Map and was a member of the London Sustainable Development Commission set up by the Mayor of London. He works extensively as a trainer and advisor to local communities, notably on the Big Lottery 10-year ‘Big Local’ programme. He has also worked extensively with communities and NGOs in Eastern Europe.


Tickets £10 and £5 (concessions)


Book on line through Eventbrite

Venue: The Development Planning Unit, Bartlett, UCL

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