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GWF2014: Land Information System a key component of smart economy

Clockwise: Proff Arup Dasgupta, Dr Elshad Khanalibayli, Virginia Cram-Martos and Elena Szolgayov

Clockwise: Proff Arup Dasgupta, Dr Elshad Khanalibayli, Elena Szolgayov and Virginia Cram-Martos

Geneva: The two-day discussion and dialogue forum on Land Information Systems (LIS) for Smart Cities, at the fourth day of the Geospatial World Forum 2014, discussed how LIS supports national and local authorities to implement the smart city concept. The dialogue forum is being organised in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe (UNECE).

Opening the discussion, chairperson Prof Arup Dasgupta, Managing Editor, Geospatial World, threw open the question what is it that makes a city smart. He followed it up with a few questions like how do communities benefit from a smart city concept, who are the stakeholders, what is the role of the private sector here, while urging the speakers to focus on these issues in their presentations.

Virginia Cram-Martos, Director, Economic Cooperation, Trade and Land Management Division UNECE, Switzerland, said LIS is a key component of the smart economy, by enabling local authorities to generate revenues for urban development; helping local authorities to maintain safety and security; promoting transparency in land management and urban development and providing access to online information.

She also spoke about the UNECE commitment towards supporting at national levels improved land administration and information, improved governance and the smart city concept, which results in higher quality of life of the population and decreasing pressure on natural resources.

Elena Szolgayov, Chair, UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management, Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development, Slovakia, explained the role of her department saying it acts as a platform for inter-governmental dialogue; serves as a forum for the exchange of information, experience and best practices. It also assists with policy formulation and implementation in terms of in-depth assessments, policy guidance and recommendations, advisory services and capacity building activities.

The committee has outlined a strategy for 2012-2020 which entails promoting green and socially inclusive human settlements and the long-term sustainability of the housing and land management sectors; strengthening the future implementation of the existing ECE housing and land management guidelines, policy recommendations, action plans and other; developing a national action plan for energy efficiency in housing and capacity building activities; improving social housing; draft country profiles and promote the “smart” cities concept .

She also mentioned that in the Housing Register in the Slovak Republic, currently available data on housing stock only from the Censuses in intervals of 10 years. There is lack of verified data on housing stock and there is lack of clarity on their technical and economic character, on legal status, tenure, occupation, structural aspects. She also discussed the resolution of the Government in 2010 to create a regularly updated register with the basic indicators of existing residential buildings.

Explaining the role of the UNECE Working Party on Land Administration (WPLA) in the promotion and improvement of land administration and land management in the UNECE region, Dr Elshad Khanalibayli, UNECE WPLA Chair, said a smart city means smart economy, smart mobility, smart environment, smart people, smart living and smart governance. A successful smart city is a system of systems. Underlining the Goals of the WPLA, she said it included promotion and improvement of land administration and land management in the UNECE region aiming at supporting security of tenure, improving and creating more effective land registries and promoting sustainable land use policies. The activities are based on cooperation and exchange of experience among countries of the region UN Programme on Human Settlements (UN-HABITAT) in cooperation with other UN regional commissions, UN FAO, UN Development Programme (UNDP), FIG, PCC, CINDER and the World Bank, the EU and its institutions such as the INSPIRE initiative, EULIS Project, EUROGI, EuroGeographics, ELRA European Union and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Source: Our correspondent