What can maps do for communities? This seemed to be the underlying question from yesterday’s LivingBridgesPlanet discussion on Mapping for the Future.
One point that seemed important for me from early on in our discussion was that while maps and visualisations are useful – and powerful – they are always just one possible perspective – it is data parsed through a certain lens, so to speak.
I was specifically asked how mapping could be used in urban planning and mentioned a method which I developed in Denmark a couple of years back. Using a pencil with two colours, I asked participants in a community group are each asked to colour in resources and challenges in their neighbourhood using two different colours. The resulting bi-coloured maps served as a point of departure for what resources were available in a neighbourhood. In addition it also gave discussions around hidden resources and more important about what was seen as assets and liabilities respectively.
My main take-away from our discussion during LivingBridgesPlanet was:
Complacency – in cities and while using maps don’t ever think the maps are static. They are ever chaning and should ony be seen as a useful snapshot of the moment.
Please also check out fellow participant Yatin Seti’s blog post on our discussion:
You can find a link to the video from our discussion and read more about the participants and their backgrounds here: