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Recap - Digitising our land: what, why and how?

What is open land data? How does it work and what does it mean for cities? As part of our ‘Third Thursday’ networking event, Mark Prisk MP, former Chair of the APPG for Smart Cities outlined his plans for how an open data revolution could open a new world of possibilities for the planning sector, benefitting cities across the UK.

His talk centred on creating the largest repository of digital land in the world. His theory of a land repository involves taking all information that relates to every parcel of land and overlaying it with data that relates to location, ownership rights, content issues and land value.

Mark stated that his interest in open land data matters because it can radically change the balance in the market place. The release of land data can provide opportunities to streamline the planning process, particularly in today’s dysfunctional property market. Through this, property market interests can switch away from the producer to the consumer and can accelerate development in emergent technologies like VR.

Mark Prisk suggested that the policy could work “if we make sure we don’t worry about structures, hierarchies and organisations”. When the focus is on data, we can merge the information successfully. The Dutch model is an exemplar to follow as they have created a system where all public assets are brought together in a single access point.

This is not to underestimate that there are several barriers to overcome if this policy is to be delivered; diversity of organisations already invested in land data, boundaries and ensuring it’s a sufficiently open platform.

To find out more about open land data, follow Mark Prisk MP @priskmark and click here to see more of his thoughts on urban innovation and the work we do at Future Cities Catapult

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