Over the past two centuries, planning and approval procedures have attained a very high degree of complexity. It is becoming increasingly difficult for decision-makers in planning offices, the authorities, associations, and courts to comply with these procedures.1
For several years, the government has been taking action to speed up planning and approval procedures for infrastructure projects, and in February 2020, two bills were adopted with the aim of speeding up planning. The legislation concerns a total of 14 infrastructure projects with a particular focus on rail and water transport infrastructure.2
Road construction planning needs to take into account a large number of interests. Therefore, it is necessary to involve various authorities and stakeholders, including property owners, road construction authorities, transport ministries, land surveying offices, environmental protection agencies, and other interested parties such as property developers, energy suppliers, and the general public.
At present, due to limited possibilities for authorities to cooperate in a common IT environment, the various stakeholders are engaged successively. For one thing, there are different restrictions in place regarding the purpose and use of data, as well as questions of competence. For another, amalgamating the relevant data is often impossible due to the prevalence of isolated approaches (as regards technology or competence) or because there are no procedures available to provide data for mutual use within a reasonable time frame. Currently, there is no uniform platform for collaboration and the secure provision of data with all the necessary functionalities and rights to access and use data. That is why current utilisation processes are mostly limited to simple data provision, leaving the vast potential of real-time cooperation untapped, including advantages in terms of flexible and purposeful data use. Moreover, objections on the part of communities and associations often go unheeded during the planning phase, thereby stalling the process. Risks tend to arise regarding the quality of plans and the traceability of modifications, which leads to additional project costs for the planners.
The ‘Smart Infrastructure Management’ project lays the foundation for better interdisciplinary cooperation in planning, and it ensures the continuous availability of data beyond the boundaries of organisations and authorities. This not only helps to accelerate planning procedures, but also translates into practice an integral approach to planning processes. This solution has already been implemented in other European states.
What added value does the "GAIA-X project" offer?
GAIA-X enables the integration of additional existing solutions or data bases. Infrastructure projects, for example, could thus benefit from intermodal linkages to mapping data from environmental or species protection activities. Moreover, it is possible to collect, process, and network data in a continuous manner.
GAIA-X helps to ensure permanent accessibility to the cloud-based information space while guaranteeing information security and data protection.
Apart from speeding up procedures, GAIA-X allows to ensure the consistency of spatial data such as those needed for Building Information Modelling (BIM) – ad-hoc adaptations for different construction phases are thus no longer necessary. This, in turn, has a positive impact on assuring the quality of project planning, which is especially relevant for projects that are planned across competences or national borders.
A safe and trustworthy cloud can also allow SMEs lacking the required resources to participate in the geodata value chain.
Hon. Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Gerd Buziek – Esri Germany GmbH