An approach of Geographic Information System (GIS) for good urban governance

  • Lewis M
  • Ogra A
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Abstract

The Good Urban Governance theme is closely viewed as associated with concepts like service delivery, citizen's satisfaction, access to basic quality services, managing and delivery of infrastructure services to citizens. Urban governance deals with complex issues demanding interventions at various levels for issues like urbanization and growth, management of local economy, increasing infrastructure and service delivery pressure on cities, etc. Under these complex circumstances, the municipalities or urban agencies find it extremely difficult / challenging to cope with efficient delivery and management of essential basic and infrastructure services to its citizens. Such issues have largely impacted municipalities in performing their services efficiently and are trapped under a vicious cycle of low service delivery performance, thereby leading to low revenue generation for achieving sustainable governance. However, municipalities have taken a number of initiatives by introducing the implementation of e-Governance programmes or application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for managing effective governance. Often, such initiatives are seen working at isolated levels without any integration with other applications. The traditional application of a Geographic Information System (GIS) focused on select areas at local level like mapping, utility management, urban planning, etc. The real potential of GIS has seldom been used in most of the decision making processes. The GIS applications are largely seen in selected departments within a municipal or urban management entities dealing with services to citizens. The potential of GIS as a decision making process or achieving sustainable good urban governance across cross-cutting areas at municipal level is still been largely untapped. The municipal applications of GIS across various countries showcases the potential of GIS in municipal management like in the areas of property management, traffic and transportati-
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on, urban planning, solid waste management, slum improvement, urban design and renewal, financial resource mobilization etc. The initiatives are largely introduced for implementing specific project needs to address limited issues. Often the areas of overall governance whether its strategic planning, integration, governance, management and delivery of services have not been fully achieved under such an isolated approach. This paper is setout to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of existing approaches of achieving good urban governance at municipal levels. Based on the selected isolated / integrated approach of existing applications of GIS at municipal level, the paper discusses key issues and success parameters for local governance. The key strengths of selected case studies from various parts of the world provide a basis for an approach of GIS for achieving a sustainable governance system. The paper concludes in the conceptualization of achieving a sustainable good urban governance system through an approach of GIS across cross-cutting municipal themes.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Geographic information system
  • Good urban governance
  • Municipal reforms
  • Urban management
  • Urban planning

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Authors

  • Martin P. Lewis

  • Aurobindo Ogra

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