Mr. Tam Hoang, Sustainable Urbanization Specialist, UN-Habitat
The Asia-Pacific region is witnessing a fast-paced urbanization of its cities, creating new needs for planning the future. Adequate planning is key to make cities the driver of sustainable growth. Lack of planning and management increases, among other, spatial inequalities, urban poverty and the vulnerability to natural hazards, while regulated planning improves the livelihoods of urban dweller through an organized installation of infrastructure, especially urban basic services (water, sanitation, waste management, mobility and energy) and housing.
Data linked to a location (geospatial data), then used in Geographical Information Systems is a crucial tool for land-use planning and gives the opportunity to display a vast amount of information in an intelligible manner. By mapping the data of a city, planners can better understand its land use patterns as well as infrastructures, and assess the city’s needs, to finally draft more precise solutions. This facilitates the understanding of local housing markets and potential areas for construction and development needs, as well as the localization of issues, for example of areas with a lack of affordable housing or of basic urban services. Georeferenced data can also be a powerful tool with regards to disaster risk reduction, to map hazard-prone areas and then have policies specific to these zones, especially with regards to building permits and codes.
The importance of geospatial technologies has been recognized by ESCAP member states during the Third Ministerial Conference on Space Applications for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific. While more countries in the region have been investing in this field these technologies are at their early stages, but they have a substantial potential of development.
Initiatives have already arisen to foster the use of geospatial data in the urban planning field in Asia, as was realized after the third United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat III). The Spatial Planning Platform was then established to share both knowledge and experiences on the formulation and implementation of spatial plan.
This deep dive will help participant understand not only the importance of spatial data in planning and how to overcome potential obstacles in its implementation. Welcoming guest panelists from local government, housing and land experts, real estate developers, GIS providers and international organizations, the discussion is intended to provide an overview of technological and financial instruments available in managing spatial data.
The lead organizers for these thematic tracks were:
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
United Nations Economic and Social Commission of Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP)
United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat)