New UW–Madison campus sustainability map goes live

Campus sustianability map screenshot
Screenshot of UW–Madison campus sustainability map.

The new UW–Madison campus sustainability map enables viewers to explore sustainability initiatives from the comfort of their computer. The map, which was built using Google Maps, includes over 300 features organized across ten layers.

The map was created with a broad audience in mind. While some viewers may be new to campus, others may have called campus home for years. Some viewers may be quite informed about sustainability at UW–Madison, while others may have much to learn. The map’s designers—UW–Madison graduate student Audrey Stanton and undergraduate Mackenzie Thelen—sought to provide a broad, user-friendly overview of campus features that amplifies sustainability achievements, initiatives, and programs. Additionally, the map helps to illustrate where the university can strengthen its sustainability efforts.

Common definitions of sustainability include three central “pillars” or dimensions: social, economic, and environmental. Society cannot be sustainable if one or more pillars are compromised. Therefore, the map employs an organizational structure based on an internationally-recognized set of targets: the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs capture all three sustainability pillars as part of goals like health, social equity, climate action, clean energy, and decent work. Organizing the map around these goals illustrates how dynamic sustainability is and how it connects readily to many aspects of campus life.

The map also makes learning about campus sustainability interactive and streamlined. For instance, if you’re interested in climate research led by UW–Madison teams, check out the Climate Action layer. If you’re looking for cultural landmarks on campus, check out the Equity and Justice layer. And if you’re curious which campus offices are certified through the Green Office program, check out the Sustainable Cities and Communities layer.

Screenshot of sustainability map showing Gordon Solar project
Screenshot of sustainability map feature showing the Gordon solar project.

Each individual map feature contains a short description, address of the associated location, and website link that provides more information. In addition, most features have an attached photograph for aesthetic and informational purposes. Adding unique photographs to the map allows viewers to see sustainability in action. For example, the map includes the solar array on the roof of Gordon Dining and Events Center. In the photograph used on the map, you can see Green Fund, University Housing, and Helios collaborators standing with the solar array.

Sustainability is an ongoing, cooperative effort between students, staff, and faculty. The campus sustainability map highlights initiatives from across the university and aims to inspire further collective action. Explore the map on this website and share it with friends!


By: Audrey Stanton, Mackenzie Thelen, and Nathan Jandl