SMARTY - SMArt River’s communiTY
 Posted on 13/03/2014 - 16:32
Idea Outline
A shared Interactive Platform (IP) for participatory water governance: using virtual tools to support participatory river basin management (River Contracts), enhance local participation and sustainable water/land/urban planning.

The Challenge
River Contracts (RC), from the French Contrat de Rivière, are innovative participatory tools institutionalized by the Water Framework Directive to involve all the local actors (citizens, local authorities, water utilities) in the water governance system. Up to now the diffusion of RCs is limited to France, Belgium, Italy and Spain but a wider diffusion is expected. The main barrier to RCs is a lack of awareness by local communities and administrations on the potential of participatory processes and the existing projects are often jeopardized by a lack of coordination and efficient interaction among the actors. To overcome these barriers and build a Smart Community (SC) we propose an IP that stimulates public awareness and interaction among citizens and local authorities.

The Solution

The group intends to develop an IP to promote online discussion, coordinate local initiatives and enhance data exchange within a river-scale SC. The novelty is the coupling of a real participatory process, the RC, with a virtual IP that enhances participation efficiency. The following tasks are planned: 1) create a team of experts to design and implement the IP; 2) interact with an existing RC project to develop and test the IP; 3) advertise and apply the IP to RCs in Europe. The main features of the IP will be a website and a mobile app, both including a GIS interface for interactive river basin visualization (e.g. flood risk, naturalistic trails and activities), a community calendar, a voting system, an irrigation planning tool, videoconferencing, etc.

Target group and social impact
Existing tools of participatory river basin governance (the River Contracts) will benefit of a virtual platform. This coupling will help enhancing public involvement in water management and urban planning with the aim of overcoming existing barriers in the governance system. The platform will allow a bi-directional flow of information: citizens will be informed by the administrators (e.g. on flood risks, local projects) and the administrators will be advised by citizens in real time (e.g. photos from a mobile on accidental spills or other environmental risks, irrigation needs, public opinion on local projects). The objective is to grow virtuous Smart Communities by combining virtual and real world participation for the common need of sustainable water resources management.

Competences of the applicant
Our team includes a consultant engineer with senior experience in hydraulics, a geoscientist specialized in environmental modeling and an NGO promoting sustainable tourism and Nature conservation. The group has collaborated to several RC projects, has promoted the dissemination of participatory water governance and recently applied to an EU project (EIP Water) to initiate an Action Group on RCs.

Video Link
None posted
Social Category
  • Environment and Sustainability

  • Tecnology Category
  • Data
  • Geolocation
  • Mobile

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    I am an hydraulic engineer and I really think there is a need for such a tool!