Digital tools for participation and citizen science for the Food-Water-Energy nexus

Authors: Jochen Wendel*, European Institute for Energy Research, Pia Laborgne, European Institute for Energy Research, Olga Wilhelmi, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Aishah-Nyeta Brown, George Mason University, Monika Heyder, European Institute for Energy Reserach, Simon Jirka, 52° North Initiative for Geospatial Open Source Software GmbH
Topics: Urban Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Environment
Keywords: Citizen Science, Nexus, PPGIS, GIS, Tools, Food, Water, Energy, Urban
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 48
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Developing digital tools that enable successful citizen engagement is a difficult task. Even more so if such tools are implemented on more complex trans- and interdisciplinary research themes such as the Food-Water-Energy Nexus. Many tools that enable citizen engagement and participation currently exist that range from traditional online surveys to more advanced PPGIS applications and citizen science toolboxes that can be adapted and implemented on multiple platforms and be applied to different research domains. However, out of the box many of these tools lack in their applicability to complex topics and diverse user groups. Customization and a user group eccentric design is therefore crucial for the successful application of such tools. Furthermore, for the success of these applications it is essential to incorporate a user group focused design that could be accomplished through software and design verification testing or in a co-creation process.

In this presentation we review multiple software tools that enable citizen engagement, share our experience in developing software in a trans- and multidisciplinary research projects, and present an open-source software tool that was developed in a co-creation bottom-up process by citizens and stakeholders. The presentation will cover these topics in the framework of the “Creating Interfaces” project that aims to make the FEW linkages understandable to diverse urban stakeholders and facilitating cooperation and knowledge exchange among them. We present results from three case studies in Romania, Poland and the USA.

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