Work Package 1: Transparent land data for community empowerment

Increasing transparency of land data (i.e. including of ownership, capability, governance, etc) is critical to the democratization of Scotland’s land asset. This WP seeks to develop new processes and capacity for accessing and engaging with the data required to maximise the potential of the Scottish land reform legislation. This WP will aim to strengthen community-led land-based activities (e.g. renewable energy, community woodlands, affordable housing, service provision, etc), supporting effective landownership diversification (e.g. through community rights to buy, compulsory sale of vacant and derelict land, etc), and empowering communities in land use decision-making. It will support new understandings and indicators of community empowerment, and how access to and capacity to engage with landownership data can mobilise community land action.

Furthermore, the WP will monitor how land ownership is changing over time, to improve understanding of the impacts of community right-to-buy schemes and support for negotiated transfers of land. The outcomes of WP1 will support communities to maximise the benefits of the land reform legislation, which goes beyond facilitating more diversity of land ownership to empower communities to optimise their use of the land’s assets. Communities and existing owners will be able to more fully understand the types of value that land, and other assets, may produce, and more tightly align their business and land use objectives to match.

This WP will involve:

  1. An assessment of the feasibility of accessing and integrating land ownership data, involving technical, institutional, and social scoping, and the development a proof-of concept study; (Years 1 - 2)
  2. Case studies to understand community land data requirements, use, and accessibility; (Years 1 - 2)
  3. The training and participation of citizen scientists to facilitate community data sourcing regarding land ownership (and change), tenure, vacant and derelict land, potential capabilities/assets/liabilities, and perceived land values; (Years 2 - 3)
  4. Depending on the results of the feasibility studies, the development of a decision-support tool or digital platform; (Year 4)
  5. Participatory mapping workshops with the citizen scientists, to inform and test the spatial dataset; (Year 4)
  6. The evaluation of case studies to understand the impact of data accessibility on community capacity and effective land ownership diversification processes. (Year 5)