Rennes: How a Greenmap gives you the keys of your city

A brief by Tamara Guirao, CAAC coordinator

Following the example of New York, green mapping has spread to several French cities, including Rennes. In the capital of French Brittany, associations have named theirs Carte-Ou-Verte , a tongue twister meaning Greenmap, Open Map and Map-or-Green.

But, what’s a Greenmap? How does it work? “Think global, get local” seems nowadays common sense. However, when faced with everyday choices, the average citizen may feel limited. How can s/he get a greener attitude without spending much more money and time?

What is a greenmap?

The first Greenmap was born in New York in 1992. The idea is simple, guiding (new) population to the greenest resources available through a map. Afterwards, several cities around the world have repeated the experience and created e-maps that list their sustainable initiatives; many of them are named today under a social innovation label. Now growing rapidly online and taking advantage of shareware and free software, the movement has reached world scale.

How does it work?

Together is a key word. In Rennes, the bottom-up dimension was essential. The associations working in sustainability where already working together at the House of Consumption and Environment when they decided to create a Greenmap for Rennes and the neighboring shire of Vitré.

This citizen’s initiative is currently driven by a working group, where associations like Rayons d’Action , Espace Piéton , Gulliver , Bretagne-Vivante and Ivine lead the tool, supported by other actors like Réso Solidaire and the Local Agency for Climate .

Implementing the three dimensions of sustainability (economic, social and environmental), the map lists the following resources:

  • – Alternative ways of transport
  • – Information and social participation
  • – Consumption
  • – Barter and second-hand
  • – Waste and recycling
  • – Solidarity
  • – Energy and resources management
  • – Gardening
  • – Urban Biodiversity

In addition, once the map is open, a pop-up shows all the events going on, so it is also useful as a citizen’s agenda.

CAAC is currently looking to know how many maps are operating or in preparation in the Atlantic Arc. Should it be the case, please list your city’s in the comments. Thanks!

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