Governance modelling for sustainable geospatial information management using emerging technologies

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Sustainable world

This research is comprised of two distinct, but related projects. KU Leuven is the home institution for one project and the University of Melbourne will host the second.

KU Leuven-based project:

Governance modelling for sustainable geospatial information management using emerging technologies

The need for governing the management of geospatial information (in terms of roles, responsibilities, and structures) is widely recognised as problematic at different administrative levels around the world.

Therefore, the main objective of this research project is to develop and test operational models for governing the management of geospatial information in different countries, regions and areas. This socio-economically driven project builds on sound work that has already been produced for the UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management.

While governance has always been a key component of geospatial information management, in recent years the need for effective governance models became even more urgent because of several political, technological, and societal developments.

An important change in the context of geospatial information management in Europe happened with the adoption of the European Union (EU) Directive of 14 March 2007 establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE).At the global level, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted in 2015 by Member States (MS) of the United Nations (UN) and included 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets, emphasized the essential role of geospatial information in the development of the targets and indicators.

In addition to these political/policy demands for effective governance of geospatial information management, various technological and societal developments also led to an increased need for governance. Several important technology-driven trends have a major impact on the management of geospatial information, creating previously unimaginable amounts of geospatial information and questioning our very understanding of what constitutes geospatial information. Examples of these trends refer to: Smart Cities, Digital twins, Big Data, Internet of Things, Cloud computing, Blockchain and Linked Open Data. These technological developments offer significant opportunities but also present challenges, also with regard to governance.

The same applies to a number of important societal developments, such as the increased use of geospatial information by non-expert users, the collection of citizen-generation geospatial information and the increased demand for openness and transparency, which also demand new or adapted governance structures, especially to manage relationships with non-governmental actors.

Project aims:

  • To develop operational models for governing geospatial information management applicable to decision and policymakers for setting up sustainable governance structures and management approaches.
  • To fine-tune and test models with case study examples from developed and emerging economies.
  • To extend governance models to data and digital engineering.

Graduate researcher: Siqing Yu

Supervision team (Leuven)

Principal Investigators (PIs):

Professor dr ir Joep Crompvoets (The University of Melbourne)

Professor Abbas Rajabifard (KU Leuven)

Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs):

Professor dr Steven Van de Walle (KU Leuven)

Professor dr Trui Steen(KU Leuven)

Dr Jagannath Aryal(The University of Melbourne)

Melbourne-based project:

Turning the smart city vision into a reality using Digital Twin and Geospatial modelling: dissecting UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11

The vision of a smart city is a blend of many associated processes (built environment and natural) in space and time forming a complex system. However, turning this vision into reality demands informed action plans crafted in partnerships across multiple sectors for example, academic scholars, think tanks, policy governance and other associated stakeholders.

In developing such action plans within the sustainable development goals, we need to advance our knowledge in academic scholarships bringing together policy interventions for the public good. In addition, data and digital transformation is now central to our lives, therefore there is a need for a seamless digital platform supporting this vision.

This project will investigate how to transform the smart city vision into a reality using a Digital Twin technology and Geospatial modelling supporting UN- Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11. The SDG 11 aims to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The vision turned into reality will be examined for its resilience and robustness with an active engagement with various stakeholders from extended geographical territories.

Digital Twin technology will enable more effective use of data to understand place-based policy and planning issues, test potential interventions, and deliver more sustainable planning and development; thereby improving decision-making efficiency and effectiveness and improving social, economic and environmental outcomes. This is now critically important in the face of emerging challenges such as high population growth and associated housing and infrastructure investment, climate change and sustainable development, and community expectations of improved liveability and equity.

Project aims:

  • To develop local indicators of city resilience considering SDG11 and urban sprawl.
  • To use state-of-the-art technology on modelling and current Earth Observation data sets via NASA, ESA and Geoscience Australia (GA) for information and knowledge visualisation in the form of Digital Twin.
  • To develop a detailed framework and strong insight at the intersection of policy, governance and science for resilient cities with case study examples from developed and emerging economies.

Graduate researcher: Kriti Pradhan

Supervision team (Melbourne)

Principal Investigators (PIs):

Professor Abbas Rajabifard (KU Leuven)

Professor dr ir Joep Crompvoets (The University of Melbourne)

Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs):

Dr Jagannath Aryal(The University of Melbourne)

Professor dr Steven Van de Walle (KU Leuven)

Professor dr Trui Steen(KU Leuven)

Other joint PhD projects