Empowering planners and
public with environmental data
Environmental information must be freely accessible to the public. The
European Commission is keen to improve the transparency of political decisions and enhance
public access to environmental information. For a Europe without borders, such information
becomes increasingly important at the transnational level.
Project TEMSIS, straddling the French-German frontier, aims to provide communities with
an environmental information system. Assisted by networked computer systems and tools, it
is already providing information on environmental sectors such as air, water, nature and
the landscape. The project uses several technologies, among them video conferencing and
Internet navigation and presentation tools. Environmental databases can be accessed via
fast retrieval mechanisms, while a meta-information system supports navigation of
distributed data sources. A geographical information system is also deployed on low-cost
desktop computer systems.
Municipalities in the Saar-Moselle region are using the project's systems to co-operate
online, fine tuning their transnational framework planning. People living in the area also
benefit by visiting special information kiosks to send messages and opinions on the
current environmental situation or discuss new plans with other citizens and the relevant
Two kiosks on the TEMSIS stand demonstrate how the project serves public and
transnational administrations. The public booth presents the web interface and
information, such as air quality reports, in English, French and German. The
administrative kiosk has an extract of a transnational planning process that uses an
Intranet to link experts.