The aim of Community Modelling (CM) is to provide local communities with scientific tools to support their work with environmental problems and risks. Comprising three two-hour sessions over a period of three to four months CM generates a bespoke computer simulation model that can be used to explore local environmental processes.



CM is not the solution to environmental problems, but a way to bring local knowledge and scientific models together in order to understand the problems and possibilities better.


Initiative to CM can come from a local environmental group; local residents; a local council, or a research organisation. CM is not the same as public engagement with science, citizen science, or science outreach, but it can connect with such activities if they are going on in the same place.


The CM process invites local people – residents, volunteers, activists, decision makers – anyone with an interest in the issue and having the time to spend. All participants engage with the computer modelling, and there are three set roles. Each CM needs someone to be the Facilitator, another person to be the Modeller and a group to act as the local Custodians who will take ownership of the bespoke model at the end of the process.



Overview of the Sessions

In Session I interested local people who will become the Custodians of the model, the Modeller and the Facilitator meet for the first time. The Modeller presents a software framework that is likely to be useful for analysing the specific local issues. The local participants decide what to model with the software.


Session II invites additional local residents to join. Together all the participants explore model representations of the local issue with the assistance of the Modeller.


In Session III the participants are the same as in Session I. The focus is on the 'handover' of the bespoke model to the local Custodians. The group creates a user's manual together e.g. by making video tutorials.


This website is published a team of human geography researchers in the School of Geography and the Environment at University of Oxford.

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