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Except makes system maps and performs system mapping for sustainable development, regarding energy and material flows, urban transportation maps, knowledge research, communication and urban redevelopment.

The maps were made by grapjhic designers working tightly together with industrial ecologists, architects, scientists and data acquisition experts. They for a backbone for eco and green development and are a prerequisite for proper sustainable design.

Except offers sustainability consulting, research and design.

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  System Maps & Diagrams

Be sure to view the full size maps by clicking on them.

Below you'll find some examples of system maps and diagrams. System maps are a part of our sustainability development method, Symbiosis in Design. They are of vital importance when analyzing and understanding complex questions and formulating smart answers.

We generally discern between three types of system maps: spatial, temporal and contextual.

When mapped together, an overview of a dynamic system can be created, for instance of a production chain, a design, a policy intervention or urban development. Some maps are highly specific for a certain subject, for instance CO2 reductions or energy flows, and others are more integrated in nature.


Visual strategy
There are many ways to make system maps. Whichever way is chosen, great care needs to be taken to match the data acquisition, often considerable, with the right visual representation. The example maps show a variety of ways to express these system maps and diagrams, from Sankey diagram style flowcharts to intricate contextual system maps of whole industrial sectors.

Some of these maps were used for internal research exclusively, while others have been designed for public communication.

These diagrams (like most of Except's work) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons License

  Communication & Marketing services
  Temporal System Maps

CSR CO2 comparison diagram
An example of system mapping in a corporate social responsibility trajectory (CSR), where a single parameter for CSR performance is measured against those of competing parties.

From the Cosmetics CSR project.


Sustainable Redevlopment Architecture Time System Map
This is a comprehensive temporal system map showing the development of a monumental educational building towards self-sufficiency in several phases.

From the BKCity Sustainable Renovation project.


Tomato Life Cycle Production Map Sustainable Food
This maps shows the temporal development of the energy sources for an existing urban neighborhood in the process of conversion towards sustainable operation.

From the Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid project.


Plant Time Map Polyculture Greenhouse System
A very different kind of time-map, this diagram shows many parameters of plant growth in a polyculture greenhouse system for a single year.

From the PolyDome Polycultre Greenhouse Agriculture System project.


  Spatial System Maps

Urban Transport Volume Map Boston Sustainable Urban Development
An example of a highly topic-specific spatial map, this shows transport volumes for various modes in downtown Boston, USA. This map was used to scale programme for a new neighborhood to alleviate traffic pressure.

From the Boston Sustainable Urban Planning project.

Fruit Vegetable Sources Supermarket from around the world system map diagram
This diagram shows the fruit and vegetable sources for a single supermarket in downtown Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 2010. View large size here.

From the Food for the City project.

Energy & Material System Map Schiebroek-Zuid Sustainable Urban Development
This is a simple spatial system map showing various input and output sources in a neighborhood.

From the Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid project.


San Francisco Transbay Environmental Diagram Pelli Transbay San Francisco Contemporary Architectural Drawing
This is an example of a 3D diagram, showing various operations in a transportation terminal, mapping the energy and material flow of some of its functions.

From the San Francisco Transbay project.


Urban Program Development map for Sustainable Development
This is an example of a performance oriented urban planning map, where functions and activities have been mapped on a neighborhood as part of the final design, following an organic growth pattern.

From the Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid project.


Urban Transport Mode Diagram
An example of a very elementary limited-domain system map, this shows transport routes by various modes in a given urban area.

From the Sustainable Maasterras Dordrecht project.


  Contextual System Maps

Urban Material and Energy Flow map

This system map was made for Eneco Wind, showcasing the many benefits of the Fujifilm wind energy park for the local community and the environment.

The system map was used in the form of a giant puzzle on the wall at the opening of the FujiFilm windpark, allowing all visitors to participate in making the system complete.

Urban Material and Energy Flow map
An example of an energy & material flow context map, showing how all elements of a neighborhood are connected in a dynamic, self sufficient system.

From the Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid project.


Transport Mode Energy Use Velomobiles
A playful context map showing common transportation types and their energy use per km. PDF here for editing.

From the Velomobile Integration project.


Tomato Life Cycle Production Map Sustainable Food
A map showing the production life cycle of tomatoes in great detail. This map was meant for print production, and can be better viewed in PDF form here.

From the Food Impact Mapping project.

Beef and Dairy Production System Map Life Cycle
Similar as the tomato map above, this is a life-cycle map of the production chain, but for Beef and Dairy. PDF here.

From the Food Impact Mapping project.


Urban Program Development map for Sustainable Development
A neighborhood-level context map for the closing of energy and material loops of a university campus.

From the BKCity Sustainable Renovation project.


Waste Flow Diagram Sustainable Housing
A very simple context map showing the waste flows of a single object, in this case, an apartment building.

From the Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid project.