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Integrated Results

Looking at the results from the different surveys and from the questionnaires a variety of limitations and issues of future potential appear. These issues very well reflect the user needs of the involved community, mostly from the perspective of ICT application for environmental issues. The word cloud below just illustrates some of the issues that are frequently mentioned.

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Among the main identified limitations the issues of data availability, accessibility, quality and sustainability have been mentioned, together with (open) access to data and technologies. Integration and interoperability issues are most strongly stressed, as are usability and cost issues. It can be noted that in few cases the limitations are purely technological in nature, but that in most cases they strongly concern non technological aspects like communication, participation, motivation and usability.

Areas of future potential that have been repeatedly stressed include:

  • Integration of qualitative and quantitative data
  • Improvement of Sensor Technologies
  • IT and Mobile Monitoring Tools, Digitisation
  • Data Extraction and Data Standards and Data Commons
  • Development of high quality open sources software and open access to high quality data
  • Facilitate information flow
  • Information sharing and usability
  • Interoperability and Integration
  • Participation
  • Community Building and Networking
  • Visualisation
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Education

These trends are largely also repeated by the results from the analysis of the research programmes and projects. It seems that the future of ICT for sustainability probably lies in the online, direct use of applications and databases to support more sustainable lifestyles and decision making, so that in general future research should focus on “green” economic solutions for balanced social development with direct advantage for normal citizens and other stakeholders.