“How to Reach the Hard to Reach” with The PSC
A podcast with project leader Dr. Özlem Safranti-Bozkurt
When citizen science meets open source technology, everyone benefits: from citizens, to governments, to the environment itself.
In the “How to Reach the Hard to Reach” podcast series by The PSC, our project leader Dr. Özlem Safranti-Bozkurt and innovation consultant Dana van der Zee discuss the tremendous value citizen science adds to climate adaptation and the importance of open source technology in making this work accessible to all.
When we make changes to a park to future-proof it for the climate crisis, it’s vital to evaluate if these changes are really working. That’s where citizen scientists come onto the scene. Though some of this evaluation can be done with automated sensors, we really want to engage citizens with this task and give them the opportunity to evaluate these measures so that public spaces truly work for the public.
“By doing so, we want to stimulate the ownership of the park, raise awareness for climate change, and make [citizens] even think about measures they could carry back to their own gardens,” says Dr. Safranti-Bozkurt.
For local governments, the benefits of this approach are abundant. Citizen science studies are not only cost-effective, but also show higher rates of ownership and participation in ongoing projects and later on in other projects.
Open source technology is a means to an end – the end being improved public services at a lower cost. To maximise its potential, technology experts need to reach people on the ground. Though parts of the software aren’t necessarily understandable for everyone, the work is kept open and transparent and all are invited to contribute.
Curious to learn more about the intersection between citizens, climate, and technology? Check out the episode on Spotify!