Places that Matter

Places that Matter – Ensuring New Bedford is not “just anywhere”

In partnership with the Trust for Public Lands (TPL), WHALE is creating a Greenprint of New Bedford. A Greenprint is a map of places that matter to a community, and creating one starts with community input and leads to state-of-the-art computer models and maps developed using Geographic Information System (GIS) software.

In May, 2024, the two year project went live and is publicly accessible and free for anyone to use at anytime.  The online resources include a “story map” that outlines the process taken by WHALE and TPL, a “decision support tool” that features an incredible array of data layers and information about places around the city.

Click here to visit Places that Matter: New Bedford

Places that Matter Final Report

The final interactive map helps New Bedford make informed decisions about how to grow while preserving the character, environment and quality of life in the city. Based on the observations, recollections and local knowledge of the city’s residents, the interactive map identifies:

  • Historical and Cultural assets
  • Opportunities for expanded Housing
  • Opportunities for Open Space, Parks and Public Art
  • Areas at risk from sea level rise and rising temperatures

Read our Places that Matter: New Bedford, final report issued in May, 2024

How to use Places that Matter: New Bedford – Watch our Video Tutorial!



The project launched in Fall, 2022 with a survey to New Bedford residents, as well as rigorous community outreach and conversation. This effort yielded over 200 nominations to Places that Matter and those sites are included in the final map. The project concluded in May, 2024 and will be promoted throughout the summer, with virtual trainings and other opportunities for organizations and residents to experience the tool and what it can do for their own efforts locally.

The Places that Matter: New Bedford project is the second green mapping project in the USA and is funded by the 1772 Foundation, who’s mission is to ensure the safe passage of our historic assets to future generations. The Historic Macon Foundation in Macon, Georgia and TPL recently completed a “Saving Places Index,” which connects Macon-Bibb County, GA residents to wonderful places to live, work, and play in their own backyard.  “Saving Places Index” website,

Many thanks to our funders: