FIG Commission 8 - Spatial planning and development

Term 2007-2010

Highlights Commission Chair 2007-2010

2009 has been an active and collaborative year for Commission 8. During this report period the Commission has made significant strides to address land development and spatial planning issues confronting our profession both at the strategic level but also supporting the individual surveyor at the local level. We have achieved this by having a parallel emphasis on delivering technical platforms for our commission delegates in the member countries that we have visited and by championing poverty alleviation at the strategic global level.   

Dr. Diane Dumashie, United Kingdom

The big global challenges have each been addressed by the Commission over the last year. Reflecting thoughts that the economic and spatial surveyors role contributes towards social justice, economic growth and environmental sustainability, demonstrated by our activities covering the themes:

Partnerships between People

Facilitating social partnerships at strategic level, i.e. the global commons is likely to be an increasing emphasis for the coming generations as new ways to organise society are found. Over the past 12 months, the commission’s debates regularly highlights that Land Professionals do have the technical capacity to manage the emerging problems of the day, with solutions likely to be based through partnership.

Commission 8 activities demonstrably highlights that it is the surveyor responsibility to overcome the politics of resources; but also the politics of people. Surveyors as change agents can inform governance decision makers of the technical merits of a proposed way forward, but we also understand and communicate the balance of people’s agendas.

Environmental Resilience

Given the increasing pressure of protecting our environment the contribution and focus arising from people and planning for environmental adaptations, as a multi-stage process, has enabled us to deliver strong technical sessions, underscored by the technical session here in Sydney. The message is clear that with so many instances of inefficient use of land and other resources, there is a need for action to change policy. Commission 8 emerging work in planning for energy resource and land gives an opportunity to take this forward into the next FIG term.

Societal balance

Land governance problems are clearly located at the intersection of the century’s greatest development challenges, Urbanisation and Climate change. These issues and how they relate to People and Places are central issues for Commission 8. The discussions have often centred around economic development and spatial planning in a range of forums covering infrastructure, climate and disaster risk associated with urbanisation and informal settlements. In particular, a key component of the special session on SIDS to be held during the congress in Sydney, was coordinated by Commission 8 with significant help from delegates and member association in Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.

Finally, it is a great pleasure that Mr. Wafula Nabutola (Kenya) is appointed Chair Elect. He will be taking up the Chairman’s role wef January 2011. A debate will progress the formation of new working groups in the Commission meeting at the Sydney Congress on Sunday 11th April 2010.

Work Plan

Terms of reference

  • Regional and local structure planning
  • Urban and rural land use planning
  • Planning policies and environmental improvement
  • Land use planning and implementation
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Informal settlement issues in spatial development, planning and governance
  • Re-engineering mega cities
  • Strategy for Environmental Sustainable Development
  • Inter-relationship with commission 9.

Mission statement

  • The activities of Commission 8 in the years 2007-2010 will involve all levels of physical planning, which enable environmentally sustainable development to occur.
  • Physical planning establishes the ‘ground rules’ for environmentally sustainable development at all planning levels and including all actors (government, private sector and public/private partnership). Traditionally the surveyors’ role is most visible in implementation of plans and therefore Commission 8 will have more focus on issues that are closely related to the core disciplines of the profession.
  • The Commission 8 will assist in building the capacity of knowledge via case studies, workshops, collaboration and consultation thus contributing in a positive way to environmentally sustainable development and living conditions of humans in a changing globalised world.

Work Plan

Key Documents




Working Groups

Working Group 8.1 - Planning Strategy for Urban Development and Regeneration

Policy Issues

  • Planning urban development and regeneration and economic impacts
  • The role of Partnerships and Urbanization process is a role for surveyors in moving towards sustainability in urban development/community living for people and places.


Dr. Lillian S.C. PUN, Associate Professor
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
E-mail: lspun[at]

Working Group 8.2 - Informal Settlements Issues in Spatial Development, Planning and Governance

Policy Issues

  • Commission’s contribution to the Millennium Development Goals
  • to investigate initiatives that deliver land for housing and associated financial mechanisms that enable upgrading through participatory approaches to planning and development.

Provisional Terms of Reference

  • Build negotiation mechanisms with Traditional Leaders to enable the expansion of urban areas onto customary owned land by identify ways in which Customary ownership could be modernized to release land for formalised housing, (In collaboration with Commission 7).
  • Explore rapid, new approaches to forward plan and upgrading initiatives that provide places for the poor by partnering with Sister organisations.
  • Deliver environmental sustainable house plots by working with partnership forums to find ways to upgrade infrastructure achieving this by addressing both physical and financial mechanisms.


Dr. Diane Dumashie
United Kingdom
E-mail: atfchair_p[at]

Working Group 8.3 - Re-engineering of Mega Cities

Policy Issues

  • To provide opportunities for surveyors to play a key role in solving problems and implementing infrastructure in environmentally sustainable projects/ developments in mega cities (large sprawling habitats with two distinct types being economically wealthy and dramatically poor).


Dr. Ioana Manaolache
E-mail: ioanam[at]

Working Group 8.4 - Urban Planning in Coastal Regions


  • Urban planning in coastal regions has emerged as a major issue connected to rising sea levels as a result of climate change due to global warming. Urban habitat issues within coastal regions are a matter for Commission 8 and its contribution to environmentally sustainable development.
  • On matters relating to marine space, Commission 8 will work in close co-operation with the Commission 4 Working Group 4.3 (Administering Marine Spaces). The ‘shifting sands’ will provide opportunities for Working Group 8.4 to find key roles for surveyors.


Mr. Isaac Boateng
University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom
e-mail: boatengis[at]