Land, Innovation and Social Good 2.0

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 26 April 2024 | Viewed by 15399

Special Issue Editors

Department of Land Economy, Faculty of Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi 00233, Ghana
Interests: property valuation; participatory geo-information science; land use planning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Business Technology and Entrepreneurship, School of Business, Law and Entrepreneurship, University of Technology, Hawthorn, VIC 3122, Australia
Interests: ICT4D; land informatics; digital business
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Geodetic Institute, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geodetic Science, Leibniz University of Hannover, 30167 Hannover, Germany
Interests: land use planning; land management; land valuation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Land Economy, Faculty of Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi 00233, Ghana
Interests: land use planning; land management; land valuation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increasing awareness of societal and global challenges has triggered a new wave of technological innovation in the administration of land. The link between the administration of land tenure, value, use, and development and the achievement of global challenges has shown the need to align societal needs to the expanding land administration toolbox. The adaption of volunteered geographic data capture techniques, imagery-based mapping approaches, and cloud storage options to land administration have provided an increasingly cheap and fast way to collect land information. However, a range of newer innovations with big data capture feeding into artificial intelligence has created even more avenues for automatic parcel boundary extraction, automated valuation models, and spatial decision support systems for smart cities and settlements.

Running counter to these innovations are the societal challenges, such as rapid urbanization, food insecurity, climate change, disaster risk management, and gender inequality, faced around the globe. This Special Issue sits at the nexus of how technological innovations in land administration can contribute to the achievement of the global challenges of our day.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Emerging technologies in land administration;
  • Knowledge transfer and innovation in land administration;
  • Participatory approaches to land administration and management;
  • Decision support systems in urban and regional planning;
  • Land value modeling;
  • Land Tools to support global goals;
  • The link between land and global challenges (including, but not limited to rapid urbanization, food insecurity, climate change, disaster risk management, gender inequality);
  • The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on settlement planning, property values, and the global land challenges.

We look forward to receiving your contributions. 

Dr. Kwabena Asiama
Dr. Rohan Bennett
Prof. Dr. Winrich Voss
Prof. Dr. John Bugri
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • land tenure
  • land value modeling
  • land use planning
  • artificial intelligence
  • decision support systems

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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21 pages, 4016 KiB  
Article
The SmartLandMaps Approach for Participatory Land Rights Mapping
Land 2023, 12(11), 2043; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12112043 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1014
Abstract
Millions of formal and informal land rights are still undocumented worldwide and there is a need for scalable techniques to facilitate that documentation. In this context, sketch mapping based on printed high-resolution satellite or aerial imagery is being promoted as a fit-for-purpose land [...] Read more.
Millions of formal and informal land rights are still undocumented worldwide and there is a need for scalable techniques to facilitate that documentation. In this context, sketch mapping based on printed high-resolution satellite or aerial imagery is being promoted as a fit-for-purpose land administration method and can be seen as a promising way to collect cadastral and land use information with the community in a rapid and cost-effective manner. The main disadvantage of paper-based mapping is the need for digitization to facilitate the integration with existing land administration information systems and the sustainable use of the data. Currently, this digitization is mostly done manually, which is time-consuming and error-prone. This article presents the SmartLandMaps approach to land rights mapping and digitization to address this gap. The recording involves the use of sketches during participatory mapping activities to delineate parcel boundaries, and the use of mobile phones to collect attribute information about spatial units and land rights holders. The digitization involves the use of photogrammetric techniques to derive a digital representation from the annotated paper maps, and the use of computer vision techniques to automate the extraction of parcel boundaries and stickers from raster maps. The approach was deployed in four scenarios across Africa, revealing its simplicity, versatility, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. It can be regarded as a scalable alternative to traditional paper-based participatory land rights mapping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Innovation and Social Good 2.0)
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39 pages, 15766 KiB  
Article
A Participatory Approach to Assess Social Demand and Value of Urban Waterscapes: A Case Study in San Marcos, Texas, USA
Land 2023, 12(6), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12061137 - 27 May 2023
Viewed by 1073
Abstract
Waterscapes can have meaningful benefits for people’s wellbeing and mental health by helping them feel calmer and more connected to nature, especially in times of stress such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The waterscapes along the San Marcos River (Texas, USA) provide economic, social, [...] Read more.
Waterscapes can have meaningful benefits for people’s wellbeing and mental health by helping them feel calmer and more connected to nature, especially in times of stress such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The waterscapes along the San Marcos River (Texas, USA) provide economic, social, environmental, and emotional benefits to the surrounding community. To assess the social demand for and emotional experiences in these blue spaces, we used a new framework called Blue Index that collects noncontact data from photo stations. From 10 photo stations across different waterscapes, we collected and analyzed 565 volunteer assessments from May 2021 to March 2022—during the COVID-19 pandemic and following the reopening of riverside parks. Most respondents (57%) indicated they spend more time at the river than they did before the onset of the pandemic. Moreover, 93% of respondents agreed that the waterscape they were visiting represented a refuge from stress and isolation caused by COVID-19. Overall, people valued waterscapes for ecological benefits and relationships with the place, rather than for recreation and tourism. Emotions experienced at all 10 waterscapes were overwhelmingly positive. Statistical tests revealed that higher positive emotions were significantly associated with biophysical perceptions of flow, cleanliness, and naturalness. Our results demonstrate that the benefits of blue spaces derive from an interrelated combination of ecosystem and mental health. The new Blue Index approach presented here promotes participatory land management through noncontact community engagement and knowledge coproduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Innovation and Social Good 2.0)
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17 pages, 4226 KiB  
Article
Standardized Description of Degraded Land Reclamation Actions and Mapping of Actors’ Roles: A Key Step for Action in Combatting Desertification (Niger)
Land 2023, 12(5), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12051064 - 13 May 2023
Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Land degradation is a major issue in the Sahel region. Numerous investments have been made in implementing sustainable land management (SLM) actions to reverse land degradation. Our work aims to (i) describe the variety of degraded land reclamation actions (DLRAs) and (ii) map [...] Read more.
Land degradation is a major issue in the Sahel region. Numerous investments have been made in implementing sustainable land management (SLM) actions to reverse land degradation. Our work aims to (i) describe the variety of degraded land reclamation actions (DLRAs) and (ii) map the stakeholders acting in Niger. A time series (2008–2021) of georeferenced public data was collected and organized using a harmonized nomenclature. The results show that about 279,074 ha could be analysed in our study. Dug structures are the most widespread technique, while treated land is mostly devoted to single agricultural or pastoral uses. DLRAs are unevenly distributed in the Niger. More than 100 stakeholders were part of the effort to restore degraded land in the country—some playing a specific role, while others, such as the Government of the Niger, were responsible for mobilizing funds for implementing sustainable land management programs, while also carrying out certain programmes of their own. Our study points out the added value of creating a geolocalized dataset and, in future, a spatialized database management system to (i) deploy targeted sustainable land management actions complementing past and ongoing actions and (ii) create synergy between all the stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Innovation and Social Good 2.0)
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19 pages, 871 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Policy and Technological Innovations of Land Tenure on Small Landholders’ Credit-Worthiness: Evidence from Ethiopia
Land 2023, 12(5), 1055; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12051055 - 12 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1285
Abstract
Since the early 2000s, Ethiopia has been implementing one of the largest land certification and digitalization programs in Africa, underpinned by technological and policy innovations. The reform indicates a promising avenue for increasing the collateralization of land use rights for smallholder households who [...] Read more.
Since the early 2000s, Ethiopia has been implementing one of the largest land certification and digitalization programs in Africa, underpinned by technological and policy innovations. The reform indicates a promising avenue for increasing the collateralization of land use rights for smallholder households who have been credit constrained. However, there is scant evidence to what extent these reforms have influenced access to credit. To help generate new insights and fill this gap, the study employed administrative data generated from 11 districts’ digital land registers, survey data from 2296 households in 19 districts, key informant interviews, and policy and legal framework review. Descriptive and inferential statistics complemented by qualitative explanations are employed to analyze the results of the study. The results revealed that accessibility of information from the digital rural land registers increased the credit-worthiness of small landholders and reduced transaction costs and risks. The reform related to collateralization of land use rights also incentivizes financial institutions to establish new loan products for small landholders. The study concludes that while the two-stage land certification programs allow smallholders to possess documented land rights, their credit-worthiness may likely remain negligible without further technological and policy innovations. This implies two policy issues: the need to reform secured transaction laws and digitalizing registries for higher land rights trade ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Innovation and Social Good 2.0)
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19 pages, 2334 KiB  
Article
Land Administration As-A-Service: Relevance, Applications, and Models
Land 2023, 12(1), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010241 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2103
Abstract
The ‘as-a-Service’ (aaS) concept of the IT sector is suggested to reduce upfront and ongoing costs, enable easier scaling, and make for simpler system upgrades. The concept is explored in relation to the domain of land administration, with a view to examining its [...] Read more.
The ‘as-a-Service’ (aaS) concept of the IT sector is suggested to reduce upfront and ongoing costs, enable easier scaling, and make for simpler system upgrades. The concept is explored in relation to the domain of land administration, with a view to examining its relevance, application, and potential adaptation. Specifically, these aspects are analysed against the long-standing problem of land administration system maintenance. Two discrete literature reviews, a comparative analysis, and final modelling work constitute the research design. Of the 35 underlying land administration maintenance issues identified, aaS is found to directly respond to 15, indirectly support another 15, and provide no immediate benefit to 5. Most prominent are the ability of aaS to support issues relating to financial sustainability, continuous innovation, and human capacity provision. The approach is found to be already in use in various country contexts. It is articulated by the UNECE as one of four scenarios for future land administration development. In terms of adaptation, the 4-tier framework from Enterprise Architecture—consisting of Business, Application, Information, and Technology layers—is used to model and describe five specific aaS approaches: (i) On Premises; (ii) Basic Outsourcing; (iii) Public Private Partnership; (iv) Fully Privatised; and (v) Subscription. Several are more theoretical in nature but may see future adoption. Each requires further development, including case analyses, to support more detailed definitions of the required underlying legal frameworks, financial models, partnerships arrangements, data responsibilities, and so on. Decisions on the appropriate aaS model, and the application of aaS more generally, are entirely dependent on the specific country context. Overall, this work provides a platform for land administration researchers and practitioners to analyse the relevance and implementation options of the aaS concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Innovation and Social Good 2.0)
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13 pages, 253 KiB  
Article
Social Aspects in Land Consolidation Processes
Land 2022, 11(3), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11030452 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2392
Abstract
Land consolidation is an instrument that readjusts land parcel shapes and reallocates land rights in order to minimize farmland fragmentation, optimize agricultural output, and generate optimal living and working conditions in rural areas. The optimization and reallocation algorithms typically rely on monetarized values [...] Read more.
Land consolidation is an instrument that readjusts land parcel shapes and reallocates land rights in order to minimize farmland fragmentation, optimize agricultural output, and generate optimal living and working conditions in rural areas. The optimization and reallocation algorithms typically rely on monetarized values of land parcels, soil quality, and compensation amounts. Yet, land management interventions also need instruments for socio-spatial optimization, which may be in conflict with the monetary ones. Many non-monetary values are qualitative in nature. Hence, there is a research gap in how such values can be detected and incorporated, such that they can create a multi-dimensional land consolidation outcome. This study applies a situational analytical approach to investigate how, where, and when social values and belief systems play a role in land consolidation cases in three different study areas. This process enables the qualitative detection of which types of social values are central during land consolidations and which ones are most essential when evaluating outcomes of land consolidation. The synthesis derives that the incorporation of aims—such as addressing socio-spatial affinity, need for equity and fairness, human recognition, and good neighborship—is possible through an innovation in land consolidation practices, social valuation methods, and/or socially responsive land consolidation laws. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Innovation and Social Good 2.0)

Review

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17 pages, 1175 KiB  
Review
Digital Twin for Active Stakeholder Participation in Land-Use Planning
Land 2023, 12(3), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12030538 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2809
Abstract
The active participation of stakeholders is a crucial requirement for effective land-use planning (LUP). Involving stakeholders in LUP is a way of redistributing the decision-making power and ensuring social justice in land-management interventions. However, owing to the growing intricacy of sociopolitical and economic [...] Read more.
The active participation of stakeholders is a crucial requirement for effective land-use planning (LUP). Involving stakeholders in LUP is a way of redistributing the decision-making power and ensuring social justice in land-management interventions. However, owing to the growing intricacy of sociopolitical and economic relations and the increasing number of competing claims on land, the choice of dynamic land use has become more complex, and the need to find balances between social, economic, and environmental claims and interests has become less urgent. These facts reflect a paradigm shift from top-down, noninteractive, and one-directional policymaking approaches to a more negotiable, bottom-up, deliberative, and responsible one. Geospatial industries claim that digital twin technology is a potential facilitator that improves the degree of stakeholder participation and influences land-use planning. The validity of this claim is, however, unknown. By adopting the integrative literature review, this study identifies where in LUP is stakeholder participation much needed and currently problematic, as well as how digital twin could potentially improve. The review shows that digital twins provide virtual visualisation opportunities for the identification of land-use problems and the assessment of the impacts of the proposed land uses. These offer the opportunity to improve stakeholder influence and collaboration in LUP, especially in the agenda-setting phase, where land-use issues could be identified and placed on the LUP agenda. This relies on the ability and willingness of local planning institutions to adopt digital twins, and stakeholders’ perception and willingness to use digital twins for various land-use goals. Despite the assertion that digital twins could improve the influence of stakeholders in LUP, the focus and the development of digital twins have not accomplished much for those features of the technology that could improve stakeholder influence in LUP. By adopting the principles of the social construction of technology, this study proposes a “technological fix” of digital twins to focus more on improving stakeholder influence on land-use planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Innovation and Social Good 2.0)
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25 pages, 1307 KiB  
Review
Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration and the Framework for Effective Land Administration: Synthesis of Contemporary Experiences
Land 2023, 12(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010058 - 25 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2362
Abstract
Despite the significant and explicit focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), much of the world’s land rights remain unrecorded and outside formal government systems. Blame is often placed on land administration processes that are considered slow, expensive, and expertise-dependent. Fit-For-Purpose [...] Read more.
Despite the significant and explicit focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), much of the world’s land rights remain unrecorded and outside formal government systems. Blame is often placed on land administration processes that are considered slow, expensive, and expertise-dependent. Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration (FFPLA) has been suggested as an alternative, time and cost-effective approach. Likewise, the UN endorsed Framework for Effective Land Administration (FELA) demands attention to worldwide tenure insecurity by directly linking it to responsible land administration. Implementation of FFPLA and FELA is country-context dependent, and there are now many lessons of execution from various jurisdictions. Undertaken in 2022, this study synthesizes a review of experiences to provide a further update on the best global FFPLA implementation practices and inform approaches for future FFPLA projects. A systematic review is adopted as the research methodology, and contemporary articles from the internationally recognized land administration discourse are examined. The studies focus on FFPLA implementation practices and innovative approaches for delivering land tenure security. A checklist is developed, based on the FELA strategic pathways and the FFPLA fundamental framework principles and characteristic elements, to identify best implementation practices. Success stories across the globe show that the FFPLA characteristic elements and the FELA pathway goals are achieved through effective execution of the FFPLA framework key principles. As a result, the study identified successful FFPLA implementation practices in Asia and Africa, which can be synthesized and extended to realize tenure security in rapidly urbanizing areas. However, further study is necessary to determine the efficacy, practicability, innovativeness, and transferability of the best practices to other land administration scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Innovation and Social Good 2.0)
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