The Greenground Map by Helen Ilus was inspired by the iconic London tube map as an alternative sustainable transport map. The ‘green lines’ are representing the connections between parks and could be walked and cycled. As a conceptual map the lines do not exactly represent the real routes, but rather help to perceive London’s green spaces as one connected network. The map includes ferry piers, kayaking and swimming spots as well as places for bird watching and viewpoints. As an independent, community contributed project, the map is currently grown to include 300 parks and 12 green and blue lines.

The map is mostly an experiment to represent London’s green spaces as accessible map for Londoners, inspiring to take alternative, green route for commute or leisure. Many Londoners are stuck in transport system and this map helps to see London is more than spending time in the traffic. People who plan their journeys via greener and quieter routes, choosing walking or cycling over regular transport, are much happier and calmer than other commuters. Greenground map inspires to take use of the parkways and waterways as alternative to crowded main streets and busy transport hubs.

As an experimental idea the practical use of the Greenground system could evolve into creating real routes with coloured track markers that are easy to spot from distance, creating an app with pointers and smaller area maps, additionally to further development of current map. The green ground system is not aiming to compete with the existing walking trails and systems, rather give an accessible alternative to people who are not accustomed reading regular maps, but still want to spend time in nature. The system could also help London’s many visitors to take greener routes and see the city’s fascinating natural resources.

Helen has worked as graphic designer since 2001. She has also been an animator, webmaster digital learning specialist and a traveller. Her undergraduate degree was in Tourism and after working for a while as a graphic designer in Estonia, she graduated from the University of the West of England in 2008 with MA in Media (Animation). She moved to London in 2010 and walked every day to work for two years. After travelling the world for a year she returned to Estonia, where she has been since.


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