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Electronic Democracy European Network

Objective

The goal of EDEN is to allow a true bi-directional communication between citizens and Public Administration's staff. The project will achieve this goal by defining a multimedia platform for democratic consultation. The software platform will integrate tools based on new emerging technologies (NLP and Mobile Communication Protocols) in order to improve the accessibility and user-friendliness; it will be designed according to user requirements emerging from current problems and experiences in civic consultation; the pilot sites will develop applications in the domain of Urban Planning, based on the common platform, to perform real test and collect results.

OBJECTIVES
The general objective of the EDEN Project is the improvement of communication between Public Administrations (PA) and citizens in decision-making processes. The improvement to be obtained will be threefold: qualitative by simplifying access to professional quality data (support through Natural Language Processing (NLP) or by providing different views of a linked city map electronically; quantitative by offering access using different media, in order to reach the generally missing mass participation to Public Administration processes; and economically, by reducing the cost per citizens' participation action. Such an ambitious objective will be reached through the integration of tools into existing infrastructures which allow citizens to dialogue with the Public Administration using their natural language, so obtaining a direct pre-structured and, at the same time, richer interaction. Such tools will be developed for general purpose - thus as reusable as possible. The application context which has been chosen for carrying out pilots is that of urban planning networks, which involve a number of different groups, such as city-planners, architects, affected citizens. Communication of those groups will be managed by integration into existing workflow technologies and by using GroupWare and unified messaging systems (UMS).

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The EDEN project has been structured into seven workpackages and four major milestones, covering two development phases (early and final pilot). Besides the activities of management and exploitation, the project structure guarantees a constant internal and external monitoring of activities in order to fit completely the project's objectives. After a phase during which users requirements will be collected, so to draw most exactly the application context, such requirements will be deeply analysed and consequently translated into formally well defined functional specifications. These will be expressed with widespread, standard tools, in order to reduce to a minimum any risk of misunderstanding between technicians and users (who will be called to validate them). Once a set of functional specifications is obtained the project will proceed towards the development of Natural Language Processing tools and their integration into city planning tools such as geographical navigation, informal discussion forum, GroupWare applications, or polling service, whilst following a UMS approach. Cyclic testing phases will be performed in order to verify both that developed tools fit the application context and the pilot sites infrastructures, and that such tools are actually effective within the general framework of Public Administrations/citizens interaction in each pilot city. During the whole project life cycle, a monitoring of the quality of results will be carried out.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

COMUNE DI BOLOGNA
Address
Piazza Maggiore 6
40121 Bologna
Italy

Participants (10)

ARCHIVIO OSVALDO PIACENTINI - ONLUS
Italy
Address
Via Reverberi 2
42100 Reggio Emilia
DIGIPOLIS CVBA
Belgium
Address
Generaal Armstrongweg 1
2020 Antwerpen
FREIE HANSESTADT BREMEN
Germany
Address
Am Markt 21
28195 Bremen
INFO CENTRUM - CONSORTIUM NISKO
Poland
Address
Ul. Hutnicza 10
37-450 Stalowa Wola
INTERNATIONALER MEDIENVERBUND REGISTRIERTE GENOSSENSCHAFT MIT BESCHRAENKTER HAFTUNG
Austria
Address
Operngasse 22-24
1040 Vienna
NAPIER UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
Address
129 Colinton Road
EH14 1DJ Edinburgh
OMEGA GENERATION S.R.L.
Italy
Address
Via Montebello 2
40121 Bologna
STADT WIEN
Austria
Address
Rathaus
1082 Wien
UNIVERSITAET BREMEN
Germany
Address
Bibliothekstrasse 1
28359 Bremen
YANA RESEARCH S.R.L.
Italy
Address
Corso Italia 95
56125 Pisa