The importance of broadening community participation in environmental decision-making is widely recognized and lack of participation in this process appears to be a perennial problem. In this context, there have been calls from some academics for the more extensive use of geographic information systems (GIS) and distance learning technologies, accessible via the Internet, as a possible means to inform and empower communities. However, a\ud number of problems exist. For instance, at present the scope for online interaction between policy-makers and\ud citizens is currently limited. Contemporary web-based environmental information systems suffer from this lack\ud of interactivity on the one hand and on the other hand from the apparent complexity for the lay user. This paper\ud explores the issue of online community participation at the local level and attempts to construct a framework for\ud a new (and potentially more effective) model of online participatory decision-making. The key components,\ud system architecture and stages of such a model are introduced. This model, referred to as a ‘Community Based\ud Interactive Environmental Decision Support System’, incorporates advanced information technologies, distance\ud learning and community involvement tools which will be applied and evaluated in the field through a pilot\ud project in Tokyo in the summer of 2002
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