DEMOS helps municipalities in recording public spaces

The Q GIS application enables municipal officials to create a database in all areas, record and digitize data related to public open spaces, planning, maintenance and surveillance of these spaces.

Prishtina, September 2017

Municipalities in Kosovo have consistently encountered obstacles in the realization of their projects due to the usurpation of public open spaces[1] and lack of a database with accurate data on these properties. Municipalities also had difficulties in planning and managing contracted companies for providing municipal services.

Funded by the Swiss Cooperation and Development Office in Kosovo and implemented by the HELVETAS organization, the Decentralization and Municipal Support Project (DEMOS) has assisted municipalities in the identification of municipal immovable property based on information from the municipal cadastre and verification of these properties in the field. Verification was completed in the municipalities of Prishtinw/Prishtina, Gjakova/Djakovica, Rahovec/Orahovac, Shtime/Stimlje, Lipjan/Lipljan, Viti/Vitina, Kaçanik, Novobërdë/Novobrdo, Gracanica and Peja/Pec. For this process, about 100 students have been trained to use the Geographic Information System (GIS), who have subsequently recorded the properties in these municipalities.

Utilizing this system, only in the municipality of Prishtina have been recorded over 2996 hectares as municipal property.

In addition, municipal officials have been trained to inventory public open spaces and manage them more efficiently.

This has enabled municipalities to use the QGIS application for better planning and management of public space maintenance companies, as well as improved service quality and reduced service costs.

For municipal officials who have been part of the training, the skills in using the QGIS application have resulted in the preparation of inventory of public spaces. This inventory contains information on the surface and condition of each public space and assets (e.g. in parks and squares are evidenced the seats, wastebaskets, trees, playgrounds, etc.). These data are already used for better maintenance of parks, sidewalks or parking lots. Moreover, this system is also used to create new spaces for citizens and to oversee the tasks of cleaning companies. For each public space, maintenance schedules have been developed and mechanisms for quality assurance have been defined. This information has become part of the contracts with maintenance companies. This facilitates the work of municipal officials during oversight and acceptance of completed works.

Ilir Lulaj, official at the Directorate for Municipal Affairs and Public Services in Pejë / Pe? municipality, says this program has raised the quality of his daily work. In his view, the municipality has benefited from a trained official who will assist in facilitating the work of the Municipality in function of serving the citizens.

“Through this application, municipal officials are able to accomplish their tasks much faster and more efficiently, such as: recording of public open spaces, recording of other objects of interest and producing different reports such as those for green space surfaces, length of roads, sidewalks, sewers, length of illuminated streets etc. “, said Lulaj.

In the framework of cooperation with DEMOS, the municipality has made an inventory of public open spaces for 8 neighbourhoods of Prishtina city and has prepared 8 maintenance plans of these spaces. According to municipal officials, they can now expect faster recovery of the condition of damaged public spaces such as parks or playgrounds , as well as the more efficient solution of problems related to public spaces.

“The Q GIS application enables municipal officials to identify, supervise and carry out different projects, “explained the director of urbanism in the municipality of Prishtina, Ardian Olluri.

In the field of waste management, data from the QGIS application have been used to create a customer database for waste collection (households, businesses and institutions) and to prepare a new billing system for this service in the Municipality of Gjakova/Djakovica.

Demand for services, products and knowledge related to new technologies is growing. For an efficient municipal administration, a GIS-integrated municipal information system has become indispensable for proper planning, management and monitoring, and to provide quality services to citizens.