Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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    Lessons from the evolution of western land administration systems
    TING, LISA ; WILLIAMSON, IAN ; Grant, Don ; Parker, John R. ( 1998)
    The purpose of this paper is to outline the evolution of western land administration systems with a view to determining what lessons can be learnt as well what are likely to be the future trends in the relationship of humankind with land. This paper will outline the evolution of western concepts of land and property, from the tribal period through feudalism, the industrial revolution, capitalism/socialism and the current Kenyesianism/Privatisation phase. Examples will be given of the interrelationship between socio-economic changes, the dynamics of the humankind to land relationship and the legal/administrative infrastructure. The paper identifies some lessons on the development of land administration systems: 1. The relationship between humankind and land will always be dynamic. The current western trend towards tempering economic imperatives with more community-based concerns is likely to lead to a new cultural approach to land. 2. The direction which that dynamism takes is dependant on the society's priorities. 3. The extent to which a society can successfully achieve its objectives depends in part on the tools available to achieve those aims. "We have the technology" does not mean anything until our society determines its preferred relationship with land into the future. 4. Appropriate legal and administrative infrastructures are crucial to the process of delivering the changes demanded by society. These infrastructures include the social, economic and political processes. 5. Further research is required to determine the right direction for the relationship of humankind to land and the appropriate legal and institutional infrastructures for the 21st century and how this is to be achieved.