WASHINGTON, May 23, 2023—The World Bank Board today approved $85.4 million in financing for Türkiye to enhance the accuracy of its land and buildings registry to improve preparedness against natural disasters and develop transparent real estate markets.
The Land Management Infrastructure for Green and Sustainable Development Project, approved today, will help develop a nation-wide land and buildings registry that is accurate, up-to-date, and transparent. It will use the latest technologies to create three-dimensional (3D) city models of Türkiye’s major urban areas and update cadastral data of about 6 million land parcels.
This will enable about 18 million people to benefit from improved security of property ownership with complete and accurate land records. The development of 3D city models will support the safety of citizens by helping to determine potential hazards where homes and other buildings are located, benefiting 35 million people living in Türkiye's high-risk earthquake zones.
“The devastating earthquakes of February 6 were a tragic reminder of Türkiye’s vulnerability to natural disasters and, as we are seeing more recently, to climate-related hazards. An accurate accounting of buildings and where people live is critical for saving lives in times of crisis. The World Bank is pleased to make an important contribution to disaster-preparedness, and improving the safety of the Turkish people,” said Humberto Lopez, World Bank Country Director for Türkiye.
The land and buildings registry is an essential tool for governments, businesses, and individuals to manage and protect property assets. The registry contains information about ownership, boundaries, location, size, and improvements to the property, which are used to determine property values, enforce zoning regulations and construction codes, and ensure that land is used in a sustainable and equitable way.
In Türkiye, rapid urban expansion in the past seven decades led to the construction of informal housing and buildings. The scale of informal development has resulted in significant discrepancies between the information recorded in the property registry and the reality on the ground. A 2021 pilot study conducted in the city of Amasya by the Directorate General of Land Registry and Cadastre (TKGM), found that 70% of privately owned buildings and 88% of public buildings were unregistered and that nearly half of the unregistered private buildings have been built in violation of zoning regulations.
Inaccurate information about what is located where has far-reaching consequences. In the event of a disaster, it makes it difficult to assess what households, businesses, or public services will be affected and the scale of the impact. Unregistered buildings and inaccurate declarations of value also result in loss of revenue for governments and municipalities. And the banking sector is put at risk if collateral is inadequate because of unreliable information.
“In addition to improving preparedness against natural disasters and the impact of climate change, this project will also make a major contribution to the development of a transparent and efficient property market by making market data more widely available,” said Anna Corsi, one of the World Bank Project Team Leaders.
The World Bank is an important and reliable partner for Türkiye in disaster risk management, urban development, and energy efficiency. Other World Bank projects implemented in recent years include the Seismic Resilience and Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings Project; Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project; the Safe Schools Project financed by the Facility for Refugees in Türkiye; the Disaster Risk Management in Schools Project; the Small and Medium Enterprises Energy Efficiency Project; and the Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings Project, among others.