Public access to environmental information orpublic generated environmental information                   Muki Haklay, CEG...
Outline• The development of environmental information  within the wider „environmental‟ theme• Three phases:  – Experts ac...
The modern environmental movement                                                   1987 – Montreal                       ...
Themes• Local pollution concern (Clean Air Act) to global  issues (Climate change)• Developing vs. Developed world• Role o...
US National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) ,1970• Technologies: environmental impact assessment,  state of the environmen...
Information in environmental decision                    making1972 Stockholm declaration, Principles 19 & 20 –  different...
Information systems• 1972 – INFOTERRA – Mainframe based directory of  environmental expertise, used by national nodes• 198...
The costs of environmental information• 1977 – Infoterra (5 years in development) ($1500 per  query, which could be answer...
Phase I – 1970-1990• Deficit model• Top-down attitude to environmental decision  making• Environmental information by expe...
Rio - Principle 10 (1992)„Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relev...
Convention on Access to Information, PublicParticipation in Decision Making and Access to justicein Environmental Matters ...
The assumptions behind Aarhus                 Public access to information Public is more aware of environmental issues an...
Environmental TecnophiliaAgenda 21 - “National and international data and information centresshould set up continuous and ...
1994                            ArcInfo 7                            SAS1997 version, Archive.org   CIESIN, EPA, Environme...
1995       Sun Sparc 20       ArcInfo 7 (donated by ESRI)       Oracle 6       Susan Pipes, Leslie St. James
1999
1998
2000
2008       http://www.environment-agency
2010
1997
2008http://www.naei.org.uk/emissions/postcode_2003.php
2004http://www.londonnoisemap.com/
Phase II – 1990 – 2000• Public access to environmental information is  seen as a prerequisite to participation• The Web is...
Issues with environmental informationdelivery• Use of jargon and technical terminology• Different semantic scale – from ra...
Issues with environmental informationdelivery – web GIS• Many usability problems:  –   Scale  –   Cartography  –   Selecti...
The rise of citizen-science• Background: environmental inequalities /  environmental justice• Mistrust in official sources...
Archway• Archway is experiencing high volumes of traffic  and there are local problems resulting from the  major traffic n...
Perceptions and                                  Issues MappingThese scans are part of a community survey of perceptions a...
Identifying key issues             Pedestrian             Issues were             identified as a             problem that...
Archway PedestrianSurveys were carried outin collaboration withSpace Syntax whospecialised in pedestrianmovement analysis
Results of thesurvey wereused by thecommunity todiscuss futureplanningdirections  Saturday 12:00 to 14:00500 to 700350 to ...
Noise mapping training
Pepys – Noise Mapping
Distribution of Survey Points
50m Squares - Averages                         Numbers indicate how                         Many readings in each         ...
Diffusion tubesSource: West Wiltshire
Summary• Public access to environmental information evolves from  authoritative, top-down to collaborative contribution• H...
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
Public access to environmental information
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Public access to environmental information

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Public access to environmental information or
public generated environmental information?
Presentation that was given in 2010 in several places

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Public access to environmental information

  1. 1. Public access to environmental information orpublic generated environmental information Muki Haklay, CEGE, UCL Source: iMP
  2. 2. Outline• The development of environmental information within the wider „environmental‟ theme• Three phases: – Experts access – Top-down delivery – Collaborative• Summary and future directions
  3. 3. The modern environmental movement 1987 – Montreal 1972 – 1962 – Silent 1970 – USA protocol, Stockholm Spring Earth Day Our Common Conference Future 2001 – 1992 - Rio 1997 – Kyoto 1998 – Aarhus Johannesburg Conference, Protocol convention Conference Agenda 21 (Rio + 10) 2005 – UK 2006 - An 2003 – Aarhus Environmental 2009 – inconvenient EU directives information Copenhagen truth regulations
  4. 4. Themes• Local pollution concern (Clean Air Act) to global issues (Climate change)• Developing vs. Developed world• Role of government and civic society – growing acceptance of stakeholders in decision making processes• From specific environmental concerns to sustainable development
  5. 5. US National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) ,1970• Technologies: environmental impact assessment, state of the environment report, CEQ.„…Each member shall be a person who, as a result of his training, experience, and attainments, is exceptionally well qualified to analyze and interpret environmental trends and information of all kinds…‟ (U.S. Congress, 1970, sec. 201)
  6. 6. Information in environmental decision making1972 Stockholm declaration, Principles 19 & 20 – differentiating between experts and the public: “It is also essential that mass media of communications … disseminates information of an educational nature on the need to protect and improve the environment” “In this connection, the free flow of up-to-date scientific information and transfer of experience must be supported and assisted, to facilitate the solution of environmental problems”
  7. 7. Information systems• 1972 – INFOTERRA – Mainframe based directory of environmental expertise, used by national nodes• 1982 – Global Resources Information Database – GRID – a global Geographical Information System with information about environmental conditions
  8. 8. The costs of environmental information• 1977 – Infoterra (5 years in development) ($1500 per query, which could be answered with good card library)• 1985 – Global Resources Information Database “for cost- effective telecommunication between GRID nodes, direct satellite links will clearly have to be established…” ($2000000 investment in 1985)
  9. 9. Phase I – 1970-1990• Deficit model• Top-down attitude to environmental decision making• Environmental information by experts, for experts
  10. 10. Rio - Principle 10 (1992)„Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided.‟
  11. 11. Convention on Access to Information, PublicParticipation in Decision Making and Access to justicein Environmental Matters (UN/ECE,1998) „…Improved access to information and public participation in decision-making enhance the quality and the implementation of decisions, contribute to public awareness of environmental issues, give the public opportunity to express its concerns and enable public authorities to take due account of such concerns...‟ (P. 2). „…Each party shall ensure that environmental information progressively becomes available in electronic databases which are easily accessible to the public through public telecommunications networks...‟ (Article 3.3).
  12. 12. The assumptions behind Aarhus Public access to information Public is more aware of environmental issues and is able to participate in decision-makingPublic participation in environmental decision making provides legitimacy, improved decisions and environmental justice
  13. 13. Environmental TecnophiliaAgenda 21 - “National and international data and information centresshould set up continuous and accurate data-collection systems and makeuse of geographic information systems, expert systems, models and avariety of other techniques for the assessment and analysis of data.”"Using new electronic technologies can become a major tool in givingthe public easy, cheap, direct access to information that the authoritieshold. Using electronic means, in a sophisticated manner, is the answerto those countries fear that they cannot provide the necessarymanpower to respond to the needs of the public for information andparticipation in more bureaucratic manners." - John Hontelez, SGEuropean Environmental Bureau, Environment for Europe Conference,Aarhus, Denmark, June 1998.
  14. 14. 1994 ArcInfo 7 SAS1997 version, Archive.org CIESIN, EPA, Environment Canada
  15. 15. 1995 Sun Sparc 20 ArcInfo 7 (donated by ESRI) Oracle 6 Susan Pipes, Leslie St. James
  16. 16. 1999
  17. 17. 1998
  18. 18. 2000
  19. 19. 2008 http://www.environment-agency
  20. 20. 2010
  21. 21. 1997
  22. 22. 2008http://www.naei.org.uk/emissions/postcode_2003.php
  23. 23. 2004http://www.londonnoisemap.com/
  24. 24. Phase II – 1990 – 2000• Public access to environmental information is seen as a prerequisite to participation• The Web is emerging as a dissemination medium• Delivery is top-down, experts preparing information for the public
  25. 25. Issues with environmental informationdelivery• Use of jargon and technical terminology• Different semantic scale – from raw data to processed reports• Use of maps and GIS – but with an assumption that the user is familiar with the technology
  26. 26. Issues with environmental informationdelivery – web GIS• Many usability problems: – Scale – Cartography – Selection – Content – Semantics
  27. 27. The rise of citizen-science• Background: environmental inequalities / environmental justice• Mistrust in official sources or „this is not community information in community language‟• Alternative: local data collection
  28. 28. Archway• Archway is experiencing high volumes of traffic and there are local problems resulting from the major traffic node that is passing through the area. These are examples from the work that we have carried out with the Better Archway Forum
  29. 29. Perceptions and Issues MappingThese scans are part of a community survey of perceptions and issues
  30. 30. Identifying key issues Pedestrian Issues were identified as a problem that the community want to collect more information about
  31. 31. Archway PedestrianSurveys were carried outin collaboration withSpace Syntax whospecialised in pedestrianmovement analysis
  32. 32. Results of thesurvey wereused by thecommunity todiscuss futureplanningdirections Saturday 12:00 to 14:00500 to 700350 to 500200 to 350100 to 200 1 to 100 Space Syntax
  33. 33. Noise mapping training
  34. 34. Pepys – Noise Mapping
  35. 35. Distribution of Survey Points
  36. 36. 50m Squares - Averages Numbers indicate how Many readings in each 50m square
  37. 37. Diffusion tubesSource: West Wiltshire
  38. 38. Summary• Public access to environmental information evolves from authoritative, top-down to collaborative contribution• However, Access to environmental information must be seen as a band-aid, covering a serious problem in environmental decision making and environmental democracy.• Participation is not just about scientific and government information, it is also about local knowledge and understanding – and non-scientific arguments should be allowed in. But how?

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