Lower East Side Community Hero
Creator of the Green Map System and its director since 1995, Wendy Brawer is a designer, social innovator, consultant, and public educator. Based on the Lower East Side and focused on sustainable design since 1989, Wendy created the Green Apple Map, an original map of New York’s environment that sparked a global movement.
A pioneer in collaborative internet-based development, Wendy has led the development of the nonprofit Green Map System, its acclaimed universal iconography, inclusive methodology and locally-led global network. Engaging change in 940 diverse cities in 65 countries, the award-winning organization has archived hundreds of maps in the New York Public Library map collection. Now, with the goal of making a wider impact and to address the Paris Climate Agreement, Green Map System is in the process of going open source, providing free access to its award-winning icons and toolkits. Explore Green Map’s adaptable tools and myriad outcomes at GreenMap.org. Wendy has continually created NYC Green Maps that help both residents and visitors make a positive contribution to the future we all share. As seen at her own website, EcoCultural.info, her integrated and creative approach to risk reduction includes collaborating and advising on local projects that address energy (NYC’s first Net Zero Passive House building and the SolSpherica solar charging station for East River Park), bicycling (Bikes Ready and Local Spokes), green culture center concepts (the Stanton Building as a resiliency lab and Ranch on Rails) and community green infrastructure (Gardens Rising and Siempre Verde Garden). Wendy has also taught, written and presented at scores of conferences and universities. Born an artist in Detroit, the Lower East Side was always in her roots. Now a 25-year member of the community, Wendy serves on the board of ABC No Rio, and is part of Sara D Roosevelt Park Community Coalition, LES Ready and Siempre Verde Community Garden.