Pathways for a future cadastral system: A socio-technical approach | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
May 2020
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

A vast array of trends and innovations, such as drones and person-to-person trust solutions, have been proposed to revolutionize the task of recording land and property rights. There is, however, a gap in current research regarding how to approach systematically the future(s) of cadastral systems. This paper introduces socio-technical transitions theory and multi-level perspective (MLP) framework in particular as a way to structure potential pathways for cadastral systems. The approach emphasizes the role of institutional rules of the game – the regulative, normative and cognitive institutional elements – in socio-technical transition processes. Using the Finnish cadastral system as a case study, we illustrate the approach by forming three alternative transition pathways: (1) a cadastral system under digital transformation, (2) differentiating urban and rural cadastral systems, and (3) a cadastral system facing new data management challenges. After describing each transition pathway with a narrative storyline, we reflect them in light of previous discourses of the cadastral domain. Thereby, the study provides new insights into discussions about the future of cadastral systems and land administration in general.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Krigsholm, Pauliina
Riekkinen, Kirsikka
Ståhle, Pirjo


Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.

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