Tag: participatory mapping

Participatory Mapping for Community Empowerment and Health Equity

Jason A. Douglas, Chapman University
Andrew M. Subica, University of California, Riverside
Laresha Franks, Community Coalition
Gilbert Johnson, Community Coalition
Carlos Leon, Community Coalition
Sandra Villanueva, Loyola Marymount University
Cheryl T. Grills, Loyola Marymount University

Participatory mapping is an empowering, yet underutilized method for investigating social determinants of health disparities. To elucidate the empowering approach of participatory mapping, this paper explicates the process and outcomes of a CDC Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health-funded community-academic partnership that leveraged participatory mapping to investigate access to public parks, and community organizing to advocate for environmental change and health promotion in South Los Angeles (SLA), CA. Thirty-five SLA residents partook in two participatory mapping sessions in March and April, 2015. Using 4’x5’ paper maps, residents drew mobility routes to their local park, ranking community assets and deficits along those routes. Process forms were used to document resident participation in ensuing community organizing events and activities to disseminate mapping results and advocate for policy change. Tobacco shops were identified as problematic spaces that attract subversive activity and crime including loitering, theft, and drug dealing. Subsequent geospatial analysis confirmed significant clustering of crime around SLA tobacco shops. Following, 81 SLA residents participated in community outreach events and activities from 2016-2018 to advocate for policies limiting the proliferation of tobacco shops. As a result of community organizing around resident interests grounded in empirical data, the Los Angeles County (LAC) Board of Supervisors voted to introduce legislation banning tobacco shops in residential areas of LAC. As illustrated by this community-academic partnership, we argue that participatory mapping is an empowering approach for (1) investigating social determinants of health disparities, and (2) redefining neighborhood spaces toward the implementation of health policies that reflect community interests.

Participatory Mapping to Reduce Urban Risk in Lima

Rita Lambert
The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London

cLIMA sin Riesgo

Gallery Project Statement

This documentary recounts the experience of participatory mapping in two marginalized and impoverished settlements, located in the historic centre and the periphery of the city of Lima, Peru. Here mapping is used with three main objectives: to make visible what is otherwise ‘invisible’ yet disproportionately affects vulnerable groups; to open up dialogue between different stakeholders such as inhabitants, authorities and academics; and to arrive at concrete actions, collectively negotiated between ordinary citizens and policy makers.

Based on action-research to explore paths for just and resilient urban development in the context of spatial and social segregation, the project interrogates the exclusionary nature of cartographic representations of marginalized neighborhoods, which often play a role in the unjust trajectory of urban change. In doing so, it explores the possibilities of opening up the writing of maps to ordinary citizens to capture and make visible their disproportionate exposure to everyday risks with severe impacts on their lives, homes and incomes. Alongside mapping from the sky, mapping from the ground with inhabitants enables the collection of important variables to help identify who is at risk, where, how and why. The approach applies a participatory action methodology based on grounded applications and advanced technologies for community-led mapping and visualization. Using drones, 3D modelling and open-source mapping software, quantitative and qualitative spatialized data was co-produced and visualized in an accessible manner to inform policy level discussions. This documentary explains how the process was designed and what it achieved, exploring the potential of participatory mapping to capture the multiple voices, experiences and knowledge that produce the city. For academic articles on this mapping methodology, please refer to Lambert and Allen (2017) and Lambert and Poblet (2015).

Citations and Works Cited

Lambert, R. Allen, A. (2017). Participatory mapping to disrupt unjust urban trajectories in Lima. In P. Imperatore (Ed.), Geospatial Technology. Rijeka, Croatia: InTech Open Access.

Lambert, R. and Poblet, R. (2015) Mapping to reduce urban risk. London: cLima Sin Riesgo, Development Planning Unit, UCL.