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Joint project of Federal Center for Project Finance (FCPF), IUE and the company Habidatum: New Techniques for Assessment of Urban Development

On October 5, 2016, at an expert session hosted by FCPF and attended by members of the Expert Council of FCPF, representatives of official bodies, developers, sector experts the discussion of the new approaches to elaboration of techniques for assessment of urban development took place.

The new techniques emerged as a result of the research efforts undertaken by FCPF in cooperation with IUE and the company Habidatum. The research work focused on conversion of spontaneous data into alternative statistics for the use in urban management and planning practices.

Analysis of spontaneous data currently acquires an increasing importance. Many countries embrace it as an essential part of a smart city concept. The World Bank is developing standards for their public use. These may be subsequently unified within national legal frameworks.

The advantage of spontaneous data lies in their quality – since they directly reflect the urban life - and also in promptness due to their on-line representation, as opposed to traditional statistics.

There are multiple sources for acquiring such data: social networks (Vkontakte, Twitter, Facebook), cellular operators, operators of mobile apps with a function of geolocation, e.g. Nike+ Running and their analogues; navigation system operators, e.g. HERE, Yandex Maps, TomTom and others.

The most important aspects of urban development in Russia were taken into consideration while creating the working models within the framework of the research.

The first area of interest concerns mass cadastral appraisal of commercial property utilized for shaping the revenue part of local budgets. Developers also rely on it in order to achieve more adequate cost-benefit analysis of their projects.

Another avenue of urban development concentrates on transport planning and management aimed at appraisal of current and future transport ‘bottlenecks’, optimization of public transport performance and more substantiated decision-making about implementation of various infrastructure projects.

And, finally, the third area of interest focuses on determining migration areas of urban agglomerations for the purpose of spatial development management and infrastructure load estimation.

The foregoing approaches formed the basis for assessments in respect of five Russian cities: Nizhniy Novgorod, Kazan, Ufa, Yaroslavl and Khabarovsk.

The upcoming entry of the law on cadastral appraisal into force, scheduled for January 2017, adds to the relevance of the issues relating to mass cadastral appraisal. As became evident from the research, the city of Ufa, notorious for its judicial proceedings, vividly illustrates the drawbacks of the existing techniques. According to court records, in the capital of Bashkiria the cost of appraisal of non-residential buildings – established based on state cadastral appraisal – was reduced by court decision in respect to 80% of the total cases filed. In Nizhniy Novgorod, for instance, cadastral value of some land plots appeared to be 4-9 times overestimated.

In the circumstances, along with forming local tax bases, the most important thing to do would be to establish the taxes and duties that the population could consider as reasonable and which wouldn’t provoke social tensions. Unlike traditional assessments, the use of those relying on spontaneous data helps take into account a lot more factors influencing the cost of real property, and therefore, assure that appraised cadastral value and market value have the smallest possible discrepancy.


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