Participatory GIS and its application in governance: the example of air quality and the implications for noise pollution

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Participatory GIS (geographic information systems) is designed to use community mapping exercises to produce spatial representations of local knowledge. The ideals of Participatory GIS revolve around the concept of public participation in the use of spatial data leading to increased community involvement in policy-setting and decision-making (Weiner et al., Community participation and geographic information systems, in: Craig et al., Community participation and geographic information systems, London: Taylor & Francis, 2002). This paper reports on findings from two case studies, one relating to assessments of air quality and how Participatory GIS has been used in the UK to improve local government policy, and the second on assessments of noise pollution. It concludes by discussing a caveat on the use of Participatory GIS for environmental governance, which is that, ideally, only issues on which participants are likely to have direct experiential knowledge should be targeted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309 - 320
Number of pages11
JournalLocal Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • Citizen knowledge, community participation, GIS, environmental policy

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