Publicity of urban planning documentation and some issues of developing urban planning cadastres

26-04-2018

Source: “Development Strategy” magazine, #7.

One of the problems raised by investors-real estate developers is the lack of open access to information on zoning of territories. Without this information, it is impossible to understand what and where to build.  Now, in most cases, an investor’s representative should physically visit an authority or local government office and review the paper documents directly on the spot to obtain this information. In these circumstances, there are often some difficulties. For example, when it is impossible to copy graphic materials of urban planning documents because the entire package of materials is marked “Not for public use”. Manufacturers, commenting on this situation, say that it makes no sense to invest in the territory, if there are such misunderstandings and bureaucracy at the stage of obtaining the initial data.

Indeed, according to the results of research conducted by the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) in 2017, it has been found out that only 24% of urban planning documents were published on the Internet, in print media and at stands in offices of local authorities. Only 8% of these documents are published on the Internet.

Last February, the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) appealed to the Ministry of Regional Development with a proposal to create a single web resource, where it would be possible to quickly find any urban planning document available to the public if it is published on local government websites. The Ministry of Regional Development immediately responded to this proposal and provided a regulatory framework to implement this decision in a few months. Already in May 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers made the necessary amendments to the provisions on the urban planning cadastre and open data.

The next step was the assistance of the Embassy of the Netherlands, which provided technical support for the implementation of this solution as part of the MATRA program. Thanks to their help and the work of the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO), such a web resource has already been created and is currently tested in the Sumy region. Its prototype is available here – http://pmap.minregion.gov.ua/ (PMAP). After testing, officials of local architecture and urban development bodies will be provided with the access to this resource, so that they could add the information there and update systematically.

The BRDO project team is also working on developing instructions to publish urban planning documents online. It is important that local government bodies understand how to publish graphic and text materials of urban planning documentation on their websites in an appropriate manner, so it would be convenient for users. This year, such instructions will be developed for each type of urban planning documents.

At the same time, the web resource and instructions will not fully address the issues of publicity of urban planning documentation, if this idea is not supported by local communities. There should be active citizens who will draw the attention of local authorities to the problem of secrecy of urban planning documents and promote their publication on the Internet. In turn, each person will be able to inform the administration personnel about the publication of urban planning documents by using PMAP services, so they could take it into account on a single web resource.

It should be noted that open urban planning cadastres are the most convenient and useful way for users to publish the urban planning documentation. Currently, there are about 20 urban planning cadastres available in open access at the regional and local levels. For example, at the regional level, they are cadastres of Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv, Odesa, Zhytomyr and Sumy regions. At the local level, such systems were created in Bila Tserkva, Vinnytsia, Irpin, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Sumy and Odessa.

While cadastral systems are developed step by step at the regional level, there is still no urban planning cadastre at the state level. As a result, it is still difficult for regions to obtain information on the mapping of  large state-owned infrastructure facilities.

During 3 months, the BRDO project team consulted with representatives of government authorities, regions, businesses and the public regarding the problems of creating and developing a state-level urban planning cadastre in Ukraine. As a result of the consultations, we created two groups of proposals, the implementation of which will allows to develop such a state-level urban planning cadastre in Ukraine.

The first group of proposals includes the following measures and activities required to create the state-level urban planning cadastre:

  • establishing an administrator of the state-level urban planning cadastre, whose functions are determined by law;
  • creating or receiving topographic maps from other government bodies by electronic means;
  • creating a comprehensive information security system for restricted access data;
  • digitizing and adapting graphic materials of the General Scheme of the territory of Ukraine and schemes of spatial planning of regions, publishing in open access on an electronic interactive map.

The second group of proposals is aimed at improving the efficiency and usefulness of both the state-level urban planning cadastre and other cadastral systems:

  • optimizing graphic materials and data contained in urban planning documents;
  • standardizing graphical symbols of geospatial data that should be contained in urban planning cadastres of all levels;
  • carrying out pilot projects to follow the data linkage from the state level to local ones;
  • unifying data and terminology contained in land management and urban planning documents, especially such terms as the “target” and “functional” use;
  • ensuring the interaction of land and urban planning cadastres;
  • integrating the PMAP web resource with the state-level urban planning cadastre;
  • developing and discussing the mechanism of partial self-sustainability of cadastral systems;
  • creating a single electronic address register;
  • creating a state electronic system for technical real estate inventory makers;
  • combining the urban planning monitoring with the progress monitoring of other state and municipal programs, such as: economic and social development programs, regional development programs, targeted programs and development strategies for settlements.

Each of these activities is rather complicated and requires a considerable amount of time. But as experts say, to the fact that these measures are not implemented, the state and communities spend billions of hryvnias on paper materials. In turn, electronic data and their open use through cadastral systems will allow to save time and money of our citizens.

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