The working group of the Food Policy Council Kyoto has continued to shine a light at yet another food related dimension in Kyoto. After last meeting’s focus on Urban Agriculture with presentations by Kimisato Oda and Christoph Rupprecht (both FEAST), this time attention was given to the role that maps can play. For this working group meeting on Oct 2nd, three speakers from Kyoto introduced three different kinds of maps they are working on. The discussions evolved around common challenges and benefits, the possible users of the different maps, as well as the ways to gather the necessary data.
Kentaro Suzuki and the members of Kyoto Organic Action (KOA) intend to make the stores and restaurants in Kyoto which sell their vegetables more visible. A first paper-based version of their “Kyoto Organic Yaoya Map” had been created and handed out at the ‘OrganicNale Kyoto’ (Sept.22nd) and now the members are working on making an improved second version.
An online green/sustainable lifestyle map “Kyoto Green Map” was presented by Robin Rauner from Seeds of Sustainability (SoS), civic sustainability group established in 2017 by active foreign residents of Kyoto. She included a variety of stores and services that allow to reduce the environmental impact by following principles of reduce, re-use, re-pair, recycle, as well as aspects of locally produced and locally owned. The map is publicly available already and locations can be suggested here.
Lastly, Max Spiegelberg (FEAST) and members of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature are working on a public map that makes the existing informal or civic food network more visible. Elements of that network are for example unattended food stalls, children’s cafeteria, direct sales and farmers markets, urban gardens and community farms, as well as beekeeping projects. Data is still being collected and processed for mapping, and hopefully exchange of ideas and information with other map creators will take place in the future.
Besides presenting their own work, a look at maps already existing was taken. Among others, there are already a “Kyoto Vegan & Vegetarian map”, a nationwide yet incomplete map of children’s cafeteria, the global map “Falling Fruits” that also shows a couple of entries of free fruits in Kameoka, the new app-based map “mymizu” displaying freely available water fountains in Japan, and two previous efforts that seem to be discontinued: Kyoto – Green map making in Japan’s cultural Capital and the Open Kyoto Green Map. Overall, different sets of data and different forms of presentation do exist already, yet they often are not integrated with each other, outdated or discontinued, or use different sets of classifying the same or similar locations and services.
All participants agreed that there is value in having all three maps and the data collection for each will continue. The categories for the data will be coordinated to smoothen the sharing of data. Where possible data will be made publicly available and all three attendees were open for any helpful public feedback on the data and usability of the maps.