Smart Toolbox for Engaging Citizens into a People-Centric Observation Web

  • Partners: ICCS Greece (lead)
  • Donor: European Commission - Research Executive Agency
  • Donor Programme: Research Programme of the European Commission as of 2014

Whilst citizen participation in environmental policy making is still in its infancy, there are signs of a growing level of interest. The majority of citizens, though, both as individuals and as groups often feel disengaged from influencing environmental policies. They also remain unaware of publicly available information, such as the GEOSS or Copernicus initiatives. The SCENT project will alleviate this barrier. It will enable citizens to become the ‘eyes’ of the policy makers by monitoring land-cover/use changes in their everyday activities. This is done through a constellation of smart collaborative technologies delivered by the SCENT toolbox in TRLs 6-8: i) low-cost and portable data collection tools, ii) an innovative crowd-sourcing platform, iii) serious gaming applications for a large-scale image collection and semantic annotation, iv) a powerful machine-learning based intelligence engine for image and text classification, v) an authoring tool for an easy customization by policy makers, vi) numerical models for mapping land-cover changes to quantifiable impact on flood risks and vii) a harmonization platform, consolidating data and adding it to GEOSS and national repositories as OGC-based observations. SCENT will be evaluated in two large scale demonstrations in Kifisos Attica and Danube Delta. Our consortium covers the complete stakeholder chain: industries in machine learning (IBM), SMEs in crowd-sourcing (U-Hopper), gaming (Xteam) and awareness raising (Carr), leading research institutes with expertise in hydrodynamic modelling (UNESCO-IHE), data harmonization and authoring tools (ICCS) and environmental monitoring (DDNI), NGOs at the pilot sites (HRTA, SOR) and policy makers/public bodies (Region of Attica). The SCENT initiative will go beyond the current project and form a European-wide citizen movement, created and fostered by the SCENT stakeholders, that will ensure its sustainability and its complementarity with existing citizen partnerships.