Economic Development

Farmers market:

Sells regionally and organically grown produce. Some also sell flowers, hand crafted items, baked goods, wine, wool, even regional cookbooks. Small family farms are kept going and the countryside remains green. Food doesn't have to travel far, so it's nice and fresh. You can experience the changing seasons as each new crop takes its turn showing up at the market, which is often very neighborly.


a full-size organic farm or small-scale city farm. Can be used to indicate organizations that make the link between urban communities and nearby farmers though community-supported agriculture (also known as box schemes), agri-schools or food security resources such as food banks.

Organic produce/natural food shop:

food is grown without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and no chemicals or waxes are added after harvesting. If processed, it is usually prepared in a way to maximize the nutritional value. May also include fair trade practices. Some supermarkets have a few kinds of organic vegetables amidst a large selection of conventionally grown produce. Should this store get the organic food Icon? You have to decide.

Vegetarian/natural cafe:

the emphasis is on wholesome and healthful, fresh foods. Perhaps the ingredients are organic, and vegan foods (no animal products whatsoever) are served. The meats come from animals that are "free-range" and ethically treated. Some cities include cooperatively-owned cafes and a wide range of ethnic cuisines in this category.

Green business/service:

you can create strict criteria like the ones in Oakland, California, or use a softer approach to selecting businesses that practice "green" policies. Or, you can leave them off and let the community discussion help determine what to include in the next edition.

Strictly green store:

has only ecologically-conscious products. Now, you may not agree that 100% of them are truly a big improvement, but the intention, method of production, materials, reductions of impacts in use, store policies and so on, are all going in the right direction.

Green/conserving products:

a store likely to carry a few eco-products among many that are conventional. In Calgary, Green Product selection was based on the following criteria: necessity of product, safety, quality, made from renewable or recycled materials, responsible packaging, information on manufacturing practices, options for disposal, whether locally produced and consideration of overall business practices.

Fair trade/social shop:

this "light green" category includes somewhat green and socially responsible products and policies, but doesn't offer many things that "go all the way". Look closely at the shop's products, ask questions and decide the right category with your team. Maybe the store has a nature theme, but has too many plastic novelties mixed in. Consider adding your definition with this Icon.

Culture & Design

Cultural site:

these contribute to the city's environment and sense of place in many important ways. Non-institutional resources, monuments and places, even temporary events (monthly swap meet, annual eco-fair) may be included


these are either entirely about nature's interconnections with urban culture, or frequently include the environment in programs and exhibitions. You may opt to limit your selection to those featuring sustainable ways of living, social responsibility or other locally relevant criteria.

Art spot:

ecologically oriented artworks, may include earthworks, public art or performance art. May be resources for making eco art, information on events or schools related to environmental art.

World music:

may include folk, participatory, ethnic, improvisation, classical, jazz, as interpreted locally. A place to listen to and play music.

Historical feature:

edifice, institution, monument or unmarked historical area with special significance to the city's environment and sense of place.

Traditional way of life:

may refer to indigenous, pioneer or migrated peoples' traditions. Might not be assimilated into prevailing culture. May be resources for learning about or visiting people living in traditional, more ecologically self-sufficient ways.

Eco design/planning feature:

exciting design features including public transport stations, plazas, integrated native plantings and street furniture such as kiosks, benches, fountains, or lighting that use materials and energy efficiently, contributing to the streetscape. Can indicate an area planned for ecological soundness.

Eco building:

made with responsible materials and building systems, and often give public tours emphasizing how to reduce negative impacts. May include centers for energy efficiency and understanding environmental systems for buildings

Significant building:

of great importance, generally, to the community. Sites that impart a sense of place. Co-housing, natural buildings and schools, or buildings with historic, cultural, architectural value could also be included.

Shanty town/self-built home:

an represent shanty towns or favelas that form in urban areas to house low-income people, or earth-built homes of natural materias such as adobe or straw. This homemade housing often reuses building materials.

Eco design resource:

a source for the best materials and supplies for sustainable building, landscape, graphic, product, fashion and other kinds of design. May be an organization for information, or a place to gather natural materials, a store, exchange center or showroom. Simply may be a place where you can draw inspiration from natural systems.

Child friendly eco-site:

an environmentally-engaging area that is safe and accessible to children. Our thanks to kids in Calgary, Canada for designing this icon.

Senior friendly site:

an area where people with walking difficulties will enjoy being with nature. May include areas where one can rest as well as walk.

Eco-spiritual site:

places to contemplate nature or spiritual pursuit, may be an organized religion's sanctuary or environmental program, or a profoundly beautiful place, even an old cemetery or 'oasis of calm' in a busy area.

Renewable Resources

Solar energy site:

where you can see solar panels or passive solar examples, and perhaps get information about them. Includes solar energy shops and contractors, government and utility company sites.

Wind energy site:

wind turbines and windmills harness energy that is generated by the wind on this site. Can be a small system that operates a simple pump or a large electricity generating facility. Can indicate wind power information resources.

Renewable technology site:

for example, hydrogen mines, biomass generation, or an industrial ecology park, research, related agencies and perhaps funding sources. Technology focused on zero emissions and sustainability.

Water recycling system:

using plants and aquatic animals to aerate, filter and purify water, without adding chemicals. There are many kinds of high and low tech water recycling systems in the built environment.

Bio-remediation sites:

places where natural methods of recovery such as plants, animals, reconstructed wetlands and moving water are used to clean up contaminated or polluted waterways. A growing number of techniques are being used in cities to use natural systems to purify tainted areas.

Composting site:

where food scraps, leaves and garden trimmings are turned into rich new soil, with the help of worms, containment bins and Mother Nature. Large-scale or demonstration project, information and resources for home and garden composting. May include drop-off site for food scraps, or good place to buy locally produced compost.

Reuse site:

second-hand shop, flea market, repair shop or materials exchange. Decide whether all second-hand shops should be included, or only those run by a charity. You can select the top ten, or choose another criterion. Significant reused buildings and other examples of reuse can be included.

Remediated site:

has been cleaned up and is ready for natural systems to take over, or to be re-developed. In the US, brownfields (land either contaminated by toxics, or perceived to be) programs are putting remediated industrial lands back to work, often in areas where people need jobs. Can include sites where the cleanup is in progress.

Redevelopment opportunity site:

area that is well-located for ecologically-sound regeneration. Might currently be a blight site, paved over or even in use, but has the potential to be a wonderful addition to the community and environment.


Eco-information site:

place to visit or write to where you get environmental information of all kinds. They direct you towards sustainable and conserving green sites, services and resources.

Info resources by phone:

place you can call for resources, references and other eco information. Can be a hotline with recorded messages, or knowledgeable source you can query directly.

Info resources online:

web addresses (or links) to good local information on the internet, or at an info kiosk.

Environmental center:

may be in a city park, school or stand by itself. Comes in all sizes and may be concerned with a single issue or provide an overview. Of interest to adults and/or children.

Environmental school:

can range from intensive programs within a regular school system or university, to places offering one-time environmental workshops and lectures to the public. Could be a hands-on learning center or technical school.

Community center:

place where clubs, meetings and social gatherings involving the whole community are held. May be a formalized community center, or one established though common use.

Green tour available:

tour that takes place indoors or out, detailing the environmental features at the site and how to protect them. Sometimes these are self-guided, but usually there is a tour leader.

Eco-tourist destination:

Sites of special interest to visitors, or people who want to engage in hometown eco-tourism. May include green hotels or other ecologically sensitive accommodations, eco-efficient ways to get in and out of the city and other sustainable practices for visitors.

Significant organization:

might be socially responsible non-profit or educational group, club or advocacy group that contributes to the local environment in important ways.

Social/political resource:

service or office that helps individuals or society in general to develop environmentally sound policies and practices. Might include alternative and governmental agencies, grassroots organizations, trade organizations and political parties, non-profit social services, environmental justice and native rights organizations.

Alternative health resource:

alternative medicine source, herbal, homeopathic, eastern, etc. Spas, apothecaries, clinics, health clubs and yoga are possible examples.

Scientific/research site:

center for natural sciences, environmental studies and related sciences and technologies. May be indoors or out.

Pollution monitor:

publicly display of the level of pollutants present in the air or water.

Protest point:

place where people consistently gather or post messages to respond to official political actions and decisions. May not all be related directly to environment--can be social, historic or cultural protest point.

Nature: Fauna:

Bird and wildlife watching site:

place to see animals in the wild. Sites may be delicate nesting areas or habitats, so Green Maps should stress that people must approach with care and understanding. Officially recognized sites as well as locally-known sites could be accompanied by rules for viewing, and details on the species you might see.

Significant habitat:

notable wildlife habitat or natural area which may be rare or especially beautiful and rich. May have resources, for example, for turning your lawn back into a prairie, or for encouraging native animals to flourish. Map should include details on the sensitivity of the areas.

Coastal habitat:

places along the water's edge where wildlife congregates. Wildlife of any kind may be in or above the water, on the shore or on adjacent land.

Marine habitat:

includes fresh and salt water ecosystems, and the many kinds of wildlife that flourish in the water.

Amphibian habitat:

area that is a good viewing site for frogs, newts and other amphibious creatures, which are indicators of a pond or wetland's health status.

Insect watching:

good area to view insects and bugs as they fly or crawl though life.

Wildlife rehabilitation/info center:

where injured or orphaned wild animals are nursed back to health before they are returned to the wild. Volunteers are often needed to help care for and inform the public about the wildlife.

Zoo and wildlife center:

place to see animals collected and cared for by humans. Animals may not be indigenous; they may come from the wild or may have been born in the zoo. Some zoos have habitats for breeding endangered species, and other biodiversity programs. May be small "petting" zoo for children or large scale wildlife park.

Duck pond:

place where ducks, geese, and other waterfowl gather. In cities, often a good place to watch and feed the birds. In the wild, just enjoy their water ballet.

Farm animals:

some cities have gardens with chickens and rabbits, urban farms or even a barn for police horses. Calgary suggests: consider how the animals are kept and treated, as well as what they are used for, before you put them on the map.

Dog run:

designated place where dogs can be taken off their leashes, usually in city parks. Often the only place you can see animals romping and frolicking in dense cities.

Flyover zone:

good place to watch flocks of birds overhead. May also be used to indicate prevailing direction of birds' seasonal migrations if regular flight pattern is established.

Nature: Flora

Public forest/natural area:

site that is publicly owned and accessible to all. A wide variety of natural areas can use this symbol. Balance your emphasis of forests with parklands to discourage the over-use of natural areas.

Parkland and recreation area:

green space that offers place to relax and play. May include sports fields, running paths, canoe rental, or children's play equipment, along with vegetation and a pond, creek or other water feature. Some parklands may be publicly-owned and free; others might charge admission.

Special tree:

tree that has historical importance, or is especially beautiful, large, old or rare. May be old growth, virgin (never cut by humans), ancient, sacred or medicinal trees or native plants. Could be indoors.

Spring blossoms:

are especially beautiful and bountiful in this area.

Autumn leaves:

are especially beautiful and bountiful in this area.

Bamboo forest:

bamboo of any variety, a forest of any size. A fast growing renewable resource of major benefit.

Shaded boulevard:

are designed to be pleasant for walking and bicycle riding in hot climates.

Bio-regional site/indigenous plants:

shows the topography or waterways of the larger region. Includes plants native to the bio-region. Text can discuss bio-regional boundaries within or near the Green Map. Could be a layer on a GIS map or the whole Green Map could be based on bio-regional boundaries instead of political limits.

Wildlife corridor/greenways:

often follow river or stream beds, ravines or steep hills, and are left in a natural state (more or less). This Icon may indicate a wildlife corridor for land animals, with native plants to shelter them.


generally, larger gardens that are maintained by public agencies or organizations instead of the community. May be indoors or outdoors. Calgary suggests indicating nature of the species in the garden, pesticide use or entrance fees.

Community garden:

often on public or formerly abandoned land, places where people plant and grow their own vegetables and flowers in small plots. People also grow relationships and a close connection to the city. Sometimes fenced and locked; sometimes threatened by development. Text should include contact numbers.

Special community garden:

especially nice. Along with a diversity of plants, may have a stage, artwork, solar powered water features, nice seating or other amenities. Publicly accessible and cooperatively run. This Icon can be used to indicate a special garden that, though private, can be easily seen by pedestrians.

Gleaning area/fishing:

collect wild food here, including mushrooms, seaweed, berries, fruits, greens. Farms that permit gleaning or services that pick up party leftovers for food banks. Fishing piers and ponds where the fish is safe to eat. Calgary warns us: mapping gleaning areas may result in over-harvesting.

Nature: Land and Water

River or water-front park:

place where you can watch, walk along and play by the water. Water bodies of all types. Swimming and wading may be possible.


may be on the official protection list. These areas are important habitats and useful for water cleaning. May be natural, reconstructed or artificial. You may include guidelines for viewing sites, which may be on private land.

Water feature:

could be a beautiful fountain, waterfall or natural pond. May simply celebrate water or offer a refreshing drink. May be ecologically designed.

Climate and currents:

may be used to indicate prevailing direction, waterfalls or dramatic water, perhaps difficult currents for canoeists/kayakers. Can be used in areas with micro-climate, too.

Landform/geological feature:

where unusual or typical forms are apparent. May be exposed rock layers, glacial till or a chasm view. You could discuss how feature was formed. Could be a layer on a GIS map.

Open space:

open, natural area within an urban area or in the developed countryside.

Wilderness site/info:

place where nature is still really natural, or information sources on how to experience the wilderness while protecting it.


areas set aside for sleeping outdoors, using tents or other camping equipment. Care is to be taken not to destroy the surrounding habitat in wilderness areas.

Snow activity site:

place where you can have a great time building snowmen, skating, cross-country skiing, sledding etc., without damaging the environment. Can indicate snowy landscapes that are especially beautiful. Not for use where clearcutting of forests for ski resorts or snowmobiles have caused destruction.

Great view/scenic vista:

favorite place to see what makes the city's environment special. Seek suggestions broadly for these sites.

Star-gazing site:

dark vantage point that allows unobstructed views of the heavens. May also include planetariums or observatories and best locations for northern lights, meteors, etc.

Sunset site:

wonderful spot to relax and enjoy the sunset, most likely outdoors. Great sunrise spots can also be marked with this symbol.


Bicycle site:

good place to buy, borrow or rent bicycles, work bikes and other kinds of human-powered vehicles. Organizations and places to find out about bike safety or advocacy. This Icon can be used to indicate other kinds of bike-friendly services and sites.

On road bike path/bridge:

these paths are usually painted but are on the same street level as car traffic. You can designate a favorite green scenic route of your own.

Separate bike path/bridge:

separated from cars by curb, barricade, etc. On bridges, often shared with pedestrians. Green Maps can be merged with existing bike/trail/ commuting maps or simply mention good places to obtain these other maps.

Secure bike parking:

attended parking area, or recommended area with adequate lighting and a bike rack.

Wheelchair accessible:

there are ramps, rails and other facilities provided for those in wheelchairs. Use this icon to encourage exploration of nature trails and park areas.

Best walks:

follow a path around an especially interesting area. Walks can be established or recommended by the Green Map team but should be non-intrusive to sensitive areas. Icon can be used to designate a running path through a natural area.

Pedestrian zone:

street or public area that prohibits motor vehicles, other auto-free areas, and bridges with safe pedestrian lanes. Access by vehicles may be allowed part time.

Public square/car free zone:

public open space which may have benches, fountain, etc. A traditional urban gathering place, sometimes without cars. Occasionally a public square is located in a garden or park, or indoors in a mall.

Boat launch site (sail/hp):

for human powered boats such as canoes, rowboats or kayaks, or wind powered ones like sailboats. Your map can mention if a permit is needed, or if there are other restrictions.


water-based transport system for passengers and freight. Can be a very refreshing and efficient way to commute and travel. Can include water-taxis, which run on an as-needed basis.

Major public transportation station:

multi-modal transit hub served by more than one kind of public transport system, central station or depot for transit passengers. Often has other services available.

Local public transportation station:

subway, bus or trolley stop. Bus stops may be too numerous to map, except in proximity to remote green sites.

Light rail transit:

trolley stop. Transportation by eco-efficient light rail runs through these areas.

Park & ride facility:

parking lot for cars (or bikes) with a convenient public transport connection. Sometimes Park & Rides are subsidized or free to encourage drivers not to bring cars into the center of the city.

Alternative vehicle/fuel station:

where you can fill your car with compressed natural gas, propane, bio-fuel or hydrogen, or buy bottled fuels. Exchange batteries or fuel cells, and other renewable and ecologically preferred power sources. Could be a place to research alternative fuel vehicles and find out more about the true environmental costs of producing fuel.

Park & charge facility:

your electric vehicle can be re-charged by solar power (or the conventional power grid) while parking here.


Drinking water source:

indicates the source for your drinking water. May be used to show reservoirs, and major elements of the water system. Water purity and conservation information. Icon can be used in a line to indicate major underground pipelines.

Wastewater treatment facility:

generally, municipal systems for treating wastewater and sewage, some with public information centers or tours.

Recycling site:

drop-off site for materials that can be reprocessed or refilled. Businesses that buy, work with or sell products made from recycled materials. City program information contacts. Can include good examples of places where recycled materials are in use.


municipal solid waste dump where garbage and soil are layered together, sometimes in a properly lined landfill (dump) with a methane gas capturing system. When filled, decommissioned landfills are capped and sometimes landscaped.

Solid waste transfer station:

where refuse is transferred from one kind of transportation to another, for more efficient movement to landfill, recycling processor or other resource/waste facility. Some transfer stations offer places to exchange useful items, separate recyclables or dispose of household toxics.


where solid waste is burned at high temperatures, sometimes capturing the embodied energy (waste-to-fuel). The volume is reduced considerably, but in some countries, the resulting ash is considered hazardous waste. Often, toxics are emitted from the smokestacks as air pollution. Can include incinerators at hospitals, crematoriums, large institutions and municipal facilities.

Energy grid generating facility:

generally, conventional, fossil-fueled, hydro-electric or nuclear facilities that provide electricity to the public. May include utility company or conservation offices. Alternative or co-generation facilities could be mapped.

Toxic Hot Spots & Pollution Sources

Blight site:

an area generally destroyed with toxics and other ugliness by uncaring industry and people. Set and state your criteria.

Danger zone:

an area that has been tainted by humans or is dangerous by nature and therefore may be hazardous to people, fauna or flora. Can include active volcanoes, places where you don't want your map's users to fall victim to crime, etc.

Traffic hazard zone:

where motorized traffic is especially heavy, noisy, polluting and dangerous to pedestrians, bicyclers and nearby residents.

Noise pollution source:

sometimes difficult to pinpoint, but these places have a powerful effect on quality of life. Noise can come from traffic, industrial sources, airports, quarries, heavy equipment, transportation terminals etc.

Air pollution source:

anything from industrial smokestacks and truck routes to poorly-run composting projects.

Water pollution source:

may include a specific factory's pollution stream or an inadequate sewage treatment plant. Sometimes, these are "non-point" sources, like where pollutants wash off paved roads or a farm where animal wastes and/or chemical fertilizers drain off the land into drinking water supplies.

Oil and natural gas facility:

can be a "tank farm" with several large storage containers, or a place where oil is pumped and processed. Where does the energy that powers your lifestyle come from? What are the hazards associated with current practices?

Oil spill:

may be old or recent. Sometimes, the spilled oil comes from an "accident" but it can also be a chronic problem along oil pipelines that feed the electricity grid and re-fueling areas at airports. Also includes pipeline leaks, gas station spillage and improper disposal of motor oil.

Underground storage tank:

sually used for oil and gas leaks; for example, a gas station with leaking underground tanks can be an invisible source of pollution. Home fuel oil storage tanks can also be a problem source.

Officially listed contaminated site:

site on the government's official priority "clean-up" list, like the USA's Superfund list. Can be used for severely polluted sites, even in countries without an official list. In some countries, these sites must be cleaned up by industry.

Toxic chemical storage:

where large quantities of toxic chemicals are stored in an approved manner, prior to industrial or other use. Often reported to the government, where records can be obtained. In some countries, this information is available on the web, current and up to date.

Toxic chemical releases:

may represent an acute one-time event, or a chronic problem at an industrial or infrastructure site. May be from a neighborhood dry cleaner or coal-burning school furnace not generally recognized as a problem. In some countries, this information is available on the web.

Hazardous waste generator:

often industrial or infrastructure-related sources of waste that need special handling and disposal. You can elect to show those on a governmental list. Calgary points out that it is difficult to define limits to criteria. Could be broad range - dry cleaners, hospitals, universities, military sites, photo labs, etc.

Hazardous waste facility:

place that collects, transports and recycles hazardous materials, including industrial chemicals and household hazardous wastes such as pesticides, oil paints, batteries, some cleaning supplies, etc.

Waste dump:

illegal, improperly lined and maintained place where garbage is dumped. Older dumps can be a source of hazardous drainage.

Mining site:

may not be currently in use, but the effects may still be felt. Some cities are built directly on top of mines and quarries. Indicate what is being mined: coal, salt, etc.

Nuclear facilities and waste:

possible source of radiation leaks and radioactive wastes. May be destination points for trucks and trains carrying radioactive materials, military, health and research facilities. It might be of interest to note the percentage of electricity that comes from nuclear power plants in your area.


Green Maps available here: place where Green Maps can be found, if known. This Icon can be added to an internet Map after publication. It brings extra attention and visits to the site, but may require mapping locations that do not fit in with 'green' criteria. Icon can indicate a large kiosk or display of the Green Map.

Call first/appointment needed:

site where an appointment is needed to visit. Sometimes indicates sites with irregular or few open hours, so map users aren't disappointed upon arrival.

Special or supporter's site:

can be used to note sites that are extremely important, or have supported your efforts to create your Green Map--either financially, or with information or other assistance.