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You are here: Events > 2014 > Environment - General
Last update: 2 July 2015
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CONFERENCE on CITIZENS OBSERVATORIES: EMPOWERING EUROPEAN SOCIETY

4 December 2014, Brussels, Belgium

The conference's main objective was to raise awareness about the Citizens’ Observatories concept and present the first outcomes of the five Citizens Observatories projects after two years of work.
The conference aimed at setting the scene and providing a forum for discussion about the role and opportunities for active citizen participation in environmental monitoring and policy making. The event provided opportunities to engage with experts and practitioners working across a range of European citizen science initiatives and policy making bodies, with two round tables addressing  the concept of Citizens’ Observatories from a strategic as well as from a technical point of view.

The discussions held at the conference shown that Citizens' Observatories have a great potential to complement in-situ observation networks with novel Earth observations and ICT techniques, involving citizens in environmental monitoring using their own portable devices or do-it-yourself sensors. Thanks to the vast array of ubiquitous information and data they can provide, Citizens’ Observatories can allow authorities to obtain evidence and inform policy making, while providing citizens with opportunities to address environmental issues affecting them at different scales and to influence decision making.

Agenda, summary and presentations of the conference are available below.


Workshop on Citizens Observatories Projects

3 December 2014, Brussels, Belgium

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Research & Innovation and the European Union-funded Citizens’ Observatories projects organised the Second Citizens’ Observatories Technical Workshop.

The Citizens' Observatories projects aim at developing novel technologies and applications in the domain of Earth observation, trying to exploit the capabilities offered by portable devices (smartphones, tablets) and the collective intelligence available through social media streams (such as Facebook or Twitter), to enable an effective participation by citizens in environmental stewardship based on broad stakeholder and user involvement in support of both community and policy priorities.
Five Citizens Observatories projects have been funded under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration (FP7), as a response to the topic  "Developing community-based environmental monitoring and information systems using innovative and novel Earth observation applications".

While each project has its own objectives and work plan, they are collaborating together through a coordinating mechanism, sharing information and best practices. A common website for the cluster of projects has been setup on www.citizen-obs.eu, which contains links to each project's websites as well as common presentations, brochures and news from the projects.

The main goal of this workshop was to share and discuss the progress made by each project in the first two years of work. Two parallel sessions were organised to analyse the differences and commonalities in the approaches followed by the projects in the domains of data management (including data curation, data privacy and GEOSS interoperability) and citizens' engagement strategies (especially in the pilot areas covered by the projects). A final round table explored anumber of aspects for cross-project collaboration such as standardisation, best practices, sustainability strategies or business models of the Citizens Observatories.


Renaturing Cities: Systemic Urban Governance for Social Cohesion

1-2 December 2014, Milan, Italy

The EU Conference on "Renaturing Cities: Systemic Urban Governance for Social Cohesion", under the auspices of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU aims to to inspire Research and Innovation policies on sustainable urban development by bringing together scientists, policy makers, the business sector and representatives of the civil society.

The conference will focus on multilevel governance for urban and peri-urban areas and highlight the relation between supranational, national and sub-national scales, as well as the interplay of actors within these scales. Therefore, new instruments of urban governance based on a strong public-private partnership will be explored in order to facilitate the interplay between policy-making, market-driven actions and grassroots initiatives.

Related documentation


2015 calls Information Day for Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials

17 November 2014, Brussels

This Infoday is for anyone who wants to carry out a European project related to the Societal Challenge 5 and would like to know more about the objectives of Work Programme 2015 and application procedures.

The purpose of the Information Day is to present the calls under Work Programme 2015 to the potential applicants as well as to provide guidance on the preparation and submission of proposals. Six brokerage sessions planned in the afternoon will be an opportunity for participants to network with other potential applicants.

The Infoday will take place in the Albert Borschette Conference Centre, rue Froissart 36, 1040 Brussels.

Languages The event will take place in English. No interpretation is foreseen.

Travel and Accommodation Please note that while attendance is free of charge, you will have to cover your your travel and accommodation expenses and will need to make your own arrangements. We recommend to book your hotel early.



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