Research Monograph: Building Online Participatory Systems: Towards the Community Based Interactive Environmental Decision Support Systems
Keywords120507 Urban Analysis and Development
web based GIS
decision support systems
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AbstractThe importance of broadening community participation in environmental decision-making is widely recognized and lack of participation in this process appears to be a perennial problem. In this context, there have been calls from some academics for the more extensive use of geographic information systems (GIS) and distance learning technologies, accessible via the Internet, as a possible means to inform and empower communities. However, a number of problems exist. For instance, at present the scope for online interaction between policy-makers and citizens is currently limited. Contemporary web-based environmental information systems suffer from this lack of interactivity on the one hand and on the other hand from the apparent complexity for the lay user. This paper explores the issue of online community participation at the local level and attempts to construct a framework for a new (and potentially more effective) model of online participatory decision-making. The key components, system architecture and stages of such a model are introduced. This model, referred to as a ‘Community Based Interactive Environmental Decision Support System’, incorporates advanced information technologies, distance learning and community involvement tools which will be applied and evaluated in the field through a pilot project in Tokyo in the summer of 2002.