About Wendy


As founder and ongoing director of a locally-led sustainability mapmaking network, my goal is to help everyone connect with their community’s environment, green living resources, social and cultural innovations. In this way, through Green Map System, I can support inclusive participation in sustainable community development worldwide, as seen at http://GreenMap.org. More than 700 projects in 55 countries have charted thousands of assets and challenges on over 550 published Green Maps, giving a fresh perspective to millions of people. Together with our network, I have created adaptable and interactive resources as well as award-winning universal icons, books, events and videos. To benefit my hometown environment, I have published more than a dozen editions of NYC’s Green Apple Map, as well.

I have over 20 years of experience in sustainable design as a practitioner, educator and mentor. Having traveled extensively and met with thought leaders in a diversity of communities, I have developed collaboration and communication skills that transcend boundaries. Energy, mobility, waste reduction, climate change and the food-compost loop are special interests - I'm even a partner in an organic berry farm in the Berkshires. I love working together, and am inspired by TED.



TED Conference


Areas of Expertise

Sustainability & Cultural Shifts , Sustainability and Social Enterprise, community participation, Mapmaking, urban agriculture, public education, Community Development and Engagement, Creative / artistic director

An idea worth spreading

One of my better ideas was to create Green Map System, and I love to share it with new communities. With so many great stories and remarkable outcomes driving the movement forward, I invited all who read this to consider how the process and a locally-published Green Map might help everyone take part in your home place's progress toward inclusive sustainability. Use Green Mapmaking resources and create a new perspective - the skills and the networks you develop at the same time will change your outlook and way of working as well help you contribute to the ongoing evolution of the Green Map movement.

I'm passionate about

I'm passionate about our common future and doing all I can to help insure that all people and species have the same creative freedom, good health, verdant outlook and regenerative potential as I do.

Talk to me about

Open development of innovations, designs, and resources that transform local information into global interaction. Efficient use of materials, energy, water and time. Celebrating resilience!

People don't know I'm good at

Listening and cross referencing inspirations to spur innovation/momentum. I'm also a pretty good everyday urban bicyclist (however, I am a crappy driver, despite being born and raised in Detroit).

My TED story

I went to TED 2006, thanks in part to long-time TEDdite DK Holland, who was on Green Map's Board of Directors at that time. I took part in TEDuniversity and gave a 'class' called CO2 Diets, based on the energy-themed Powerful Green Map of NYC we'd published that month. It was thrilling to see Al Gore present the slideshow that became the Inconvenient Truth, and see Majora Carter and Cameron Sinclair give their TED talks, among many other momentous moments that week in Monterey. I'm still working on ways to reduce the climate-impacting effects of events, yet enhance the culture change they inspire.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

Wendy Brawer
Posted over 3 years ago
If you could make a wish on behalf of The City 2.0, what would it be?
To help people visualize the complexities of NYC’s urban environment as it progressed toward sustainability, I created the first Green Map in 1992. This sparked a mapmaking movement that has spread to 60 countries, generating a globally designed iconography and thousands of local gatherings. Today there are hundreds of printed Green Maps and nearly 20,000 green living, ecological and cultural sites on our nonprofit’s social mapping platform at http://GreenMap.org. Interacting with information is central to City 2.0. I wish we could co-create an engaging marker system so the relevant features of each 2.0 site will become public knowledge. Adaptable for buildings, infrastructure, public space, routes and districts, these markers would include a QR or other link to collect responses and highlight nearby/similar initiatives and relevant events. Co-created in an open studio, a range of new Green Maps, mobile apps and data visualization resources would be developed to assure social inclusion in all aspects of the vibrant City 2.0.
Wendy Brawer
Posted about 8 years ago
Amy Smith: Simple designs to save a life
This video should be shown in every industrial design school and office. Amy's practical innovations have the potential to re-direct our 'designosaur' tendencies and inspire us into co-creating a more equitable, healthy, sustainable vibrant future.