Strengthening municipal land management

Project description

Title: Strengthening municipal land management
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Republic of Serbia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure; Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection
Overall term: 2013 to 2015

Serbia. Identifying features of the natural landscape in Svrljig © GIZ
Context
Regulated access to land is a key prerequisite for a functioning social market economy. It is the basis for agriculture, construction and corporate investment.

The Serbian institutions responsible for land management currently lack the requisite instruments to effectively regulate and manage land use. This has various consequences, including the needless conversion of grassland and farmland into building land, and ineffective agricultural production structures. This deprives the municipalities and land users of revenue which cannot be recovered. The illegal or informal development of land, which is occurring more and more frequently, is another problem.

Objective
National and local institutions establish and maintain ecologically sustainable, socially equitable and efficient land use management practices.

Serbia. Model of a residential area in the municipality of Despotovac © GIZ

Approach
The project provides advisory services in urban areas, with a focus on issues such as integrated urban development, citizen participation in planning, property valuation and land reparcelling. In rural areas, the focus is on management of government-owned agricultural land, land consolidation and reuse of brownfield sites.

Better urban planning facilitates investment and improves the quality of life of citizens. Effective use of agricultural land improves agricultural structures and production. Both help protect natural resources and the environment, and conserve biodiversity.

The project uses the following approaches:

  • Development and testing of innovative land management instruments within the scope of pilot projects
  • Presentation of good practices from EU member states: peer-to-peer learning through seminars, study trips, expert support and networking
  • Process optimisation using IT/geo-information systems (GIS)
  • Improving legislation and standards; provision of manuals based on the lessons learned from pilot projects
  • Ensuring participation of actors from ministries, the local community, professional associations, universities and civil society

The project is cofinanced by the European Union.

The consulting firm AMBERO supports the implementation of the project.

Results achieved so far

  • Integrated urban development plans have been developed and adopted in three towns.
  • Municipal GIS systems for urban planning have been introduced in three municipalities. Another municipality uses a GIS to record property and land prices.
  • The quality of urban planning processes has improved in six municipalities.
  • Guidelines have been drafted for participation in urban planning: participatory planning approaches have been adopted in seven municipalities.
  • In seven municipalities, integrated land consolidation processes are used in transparent processes, with the involvement of land owners and use of environmental impact assessments.
  • During the pilot projects, the areas selected for land consolidation were expanded from less than 2,000 to more than 5,000 hectares at the initiative of the partners and using partner funding.