Air quality and climate change, environmental quality of public spaces in cities and indoor environment especially in schools are areas that engage most citizens and other stakeholders. Access to information varies with user group and issue. Needs for information, and engagement in the issue, also vary with user group. Sources of information vary across the issues: in some areas, many information sources can be combined to provide high quality information; for other issues, no or very little information is available.

CITI-SENSE will develop “citizens’ observatories” to empower citizens to contribute to and participate in environmental governance, to enable them to support and influence community and societal priorities and associated decision making. CITI-SENSE will develop, test, demonstrate and validate a community-based environmental monitoring and information system using innovative and novel Earth Observation applications.

The project will: (i) raise environmental awareness in citizens, (ii) raise user participation in societal environmental decisions and (iii) provide feedback on the impact that citizens had in decisions. It will address effective participation by citizens in environmental stewardship, based on broad stakeholder and user involvement in support of both community and policy priorities. The project aims to learn from citizen experience and perception and enable citizenship co-participation in community decision making and co-operative planning.

The concept of CITI-SENSE rests on realizing the chain “sensors-platform-products-users” (Figure). The elements of this chain are: technologies for distributed monitoring (sensors); information and communication technologies (platform); information products and services (products); and citizen involvement in both monitoring and societal decisions (users).

Three case studies will focus on combined environmental exposure and health associated with air quality; noise and development of public spaces, and indoor air at schools. Attention will be given to representativeness of citizen participation. The case studies will be performed in 9 locations, and will be designed in collaboration with citizens’ groups and decision makers. They will be based on distributed data collection using innovative static, portable and personal devices (low-cost reliable microsensor packs) that communicate with data repositories through mobile phones or other devices. Development of participatory methods, data management strategies, and applications to facilitate exploitation of the data and information for policy, and society, will be done.

CITI-SENSE will operate within an open e-collaboration framework with the other proposals funded under the Sub-activity 6.5-1 of the call FP7-ENV-2012. Common methodologies and standards for data archiving, discovery and access within the GEOSS framework will be coherent with initiatives such as GEO, INSPIRE and GMES.

The projects are requested to register components in the GEOSS Components and Services Registry. This will be done with the user perspective in mind and it is important that data and services are deployed so that they may be directly useful for the users of GEOSS.

CITI-SENSE is a Collaborative Project partly funded by the EU FP7-ENV-2012 under grant agreement no 308524.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 308524.