Mainstream in Cape Town

When the Cape Town Green Map was launched in 2009 it was with the conscious intention of positioning all things green firmly in the mainstream.

“It’s probably the most important decision we made,” says Philip Todres chief executive of A&C Maps, the company that partnered with the City of Cape Town on the project.

“Living in Cape Town is about an informed lifestyle choice. We wanted to get the information out there, but not as some kind of weird alternative lifestyle. Being green is about being an informed citizen.”

The interactive map, which was developed as part of the City of Cape Town’s Green Goal programme ahead of the 2010 World Cup, draws on a vast database of service providers, markets, retailers, eco products, alternative energy sites and positions green as a practical and desirable as well as easily attainable.

It also forms part of the international Open Green Map movement that features maps from about 850 communities in 65 countries. Of these, Cape Town is the most visited site.

“That’s something that we are proud of. And it’s for the simple reason that, yes, you need a map but you also need to be able to communicate stories,” says Todres.

To this end the website includes regularly updated green news and blog posts that relate to anything from food gardening to an art exhibition or waste disposal.

“If there’s anything going on that is going to promote a green way of life, we are interested,” says Todres.

The ultimate goal is to use the branding to create a green map of the entire country. Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have already adopted the template, and South Africa looks set to building an international green presence.