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Exploring Land Data: getting better information to common good land users

Tom Kenny

Quality land data is crucial to making good decisions about land use. Our new report explores the information needed by common good land users and how to get it to them.

At Shared Assets we support a range of models of common good land use, where land is used to produce the things people need, whilst also enriching society and the environment. We want to help create an environment that makes it easier for these groups taking this approach to flourish. There is no quick fix which is going to give these groups the funding or access to land that they need. However there are a number of relatively small changes that we think could make a big difference. One of these is providing better access to information on land.

In 2015 we started investigating how better information on land could help these projects succeed. Land-based projects often told us about the difficulty of accessing information on land. Information on things like who owns a piece of land, what it has been used for, or where to find new project sites.

Quality information on land can help people make better decisions about how to use land for the common good. It would benefit a wide range of different land-based projects. For some it could mean the difference between success and failure. It would make it easier for them to find land, develop better management models, and much more. This would in turn mean more land being managed for the common good.

Quality information on land can help people make better decisions about how to use land for the common good

Thus we began this project to find out whether land data could be useful, and to find out how to make it more accessible. This report outlines what we learned. It is aimed at a number of different groups:

  • Those in the data community who can help get this data into the hands of common good land users. This includes government, the open data community, developers and others.
  • Common good land users who are interested in getting better information about land
  • Any organisation who is interested in helping increase access to information on land.

You can read or download the report here.

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