One of the region’s leading geospatial experts is in Brunei this week to advise policy makers on how smart mapping technology can help them improve the liveability of communities.

“Today, city planners are struggling to keep up with a growing population, changing expectations of citizens, and competing demands for better and globally competitive facilities to support commerce, recreation, transportation and utilities among others,” said Anjusha Sandeep, Chief Technology Strategist at leading geospatial solutions provider Esri South Asia.

“In order to make well-informed decisions and achieve a greater understanding of the trade-offs involved, city planners require powerful tools such as Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to help them refine their understanding of their data like never before,” Ms Sandeep said.

GIS is a smart mapping technology, which integrates and analyses data from multiple business systems to create a dynamic and interactive map-based view of information.

“The technology allows city planners and policy makers to derive smarter insights, discover new opportunities and identify potential risks in proposed developments,” she explained. 

Ms Sandeep added that GIS technology already underpins the planning and development of many of the world’s most advanced cities – including Singapore – and would assist with the future development of Brunei’s major cities.

“The benefits of GIS technology go beyond the simple task of looking at potential plots of land to build public housing or the next business district.”

“The technology allows you to understand the various attributes of an area, and answer questions such as which locations suitable for public housing? Would residents have access to appropriate community resources? Would the new location have any impact on the lifestyle and health of the community? What do citizens think about the area?”

“Having this capability empowers planners to not only improve their current practice of identifying and assessing potential commercial and residential sites, but also transform how they serve and engage their constituents,” she said.

“Furthermore, it enables city planners to confidently make informed decisions that support living breathing communities rather than sterile urban neighbourhoods.”

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