Informal Development Due to Market Pressure -- A Case Study on Cyprus and the Role of Land Administration
Keywords:Informal development, Land administration, Permitting procedures, Real estate market, Land-use control
AbstractResults of a detailed two-year research conducted by the authors are presented in this paper. It is shown that, among other reasons, informal constructions also appear in several attractive European areas due to increased market pressure. In the first part an introduction on the current state-of-the-art of informal development in Europe is presented and the findings of the research are given in brief about three Mediterranean countries: Spain, Albania, and Greece. Although the social, economic, administrative and cultural situation and the extent of informal development vary among these countries, current identified major causes for informal development are: migration in search of work and shelter, lack of affordable housing, and increased market pressure combined with inefficient land administration and/or permitting and controlling procedures. In part two of this paper, an in-depth research on Cyprus, a country which had never experienced informal development until recently, is presented. The research aims to focus especially on the risk due to increased market interest, whose economic benefits overwhelm even the long established regulatory systems for the management and administration of land. This original research shows that informal development is emerging in Cyprus as well. This very new phenomenon is caused by the rapid national and international market pressure in both urban and rural areas of the island. A description of the land administration tools and the procedures regulating land development is given; weaknesses of the system to meet the current needs are identified; and proposals for its improvement are offered. Relevant statistics are derived through a research on the cadastral and planning data. It is proved that recent interest in popular areas often leads to informal development.Considerations are presented concerning the importance of a continuously upgrading multipurpose and reliable land administration and regulatory system, which is vital for the security of tenure, the support of the emerging market needs, and for providing for sustainable land-uses.
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