One important cultural resource that’s not well captured in the Blueprint and State of the South Atlantic is greenways and trails. Creating a new indicator to cover them is a major recommendation for the Blueprint in an upcoming report from the American Planning Association. Plus, a number of you have been asking for better ways of incorporating them for a while now.

Neuse River Greenway in Raleigh, NC. Photo by James Willamor/Flickr.

The biggest problem so far has been a lack of consistent cross-state data. Now, thanks to a major open source mapping effort called openstreetmap, it seem like creating a decent greenways and trails indicator is now possible. Amy, Hilary, and I have been working with the data for a little while now, and we have some pretty exciting options for looking at greenway/trail condition and connectivity in this indicator. Plus, since it’s open source, there are ways we can directly fix errors and add missing trails and greenways.

Things are far enough along now that it’s time to start a greenways and trails indicator team. The sign-up form is below. The typical time commitment needed to be on a team like this is 1 – 2 hours, with decisions made through 1 – 2 online meetings. If you’re interested, please sign up. Feel free to send this along to others who might be able to help as well.

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