East Marmara GIS Based Investment Site Information System (YATBIS)
East Marmara Development Agency

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
By the Law establishing Development Agencies in Turkey, these organizations are commissioned to assist companies through soft-landing of their investments in the territories within their jurisdiction. Investment soft-landing has multiple facets, among which directing investors to appropriate sites stands out as the first priority. However, this is also the most tricky task since there is quite a number of criteria that must be taken into account, such as size, price, proximity to main overland and railway transportation routes, proximity to port areas, zoning plans, construction constraints, available infrastructure, possibilities for merging with adjoining land lots etc. Required data are cluttered and dispersed over different data providers. Before the introduction of the system investors were getting the most of the aid during their investment site searches by the Real Estate agents, which mainly act on profit motive. Real Estate agents do not provide the exact location or show the site on map to avoid a possible direct contact between the land owner and the investor; and most times the information is short of giving the general picture about all the available land, and in some cases misleading and inaccurate and difficult to crosscheck.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
Solution to the problem was devised on the need to better assist the investors, preferably on a visual map. Kocaeli Investment Promotion Office has been keeping an inventory of available lands in an Excel file and assisting the investors with the sorted out information contained therein. Kocaeli Invesment Promotion Office collects the information either from the land owners or their representative including the Real Estate agents. Information collected from Real Estate agents is rendered robust through crosschecking with municipalities’ zoning departments and/or GIS map of Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality. On a suggestion by the Planning Unit, the available land information has been migrated to the GIS map. The GIS map displays available land lots, and information required by the investors. Google Earth and ArcGIS interface allows the user to show the land lots and associated information, calculate distances, prescribe merging options with adjoining lots, and other visualization enabled functions. Along with the land lots, landmarks (incl. OIZ management offices, technopark management offices, free zones, local chambers, universities, ports, airports, railways, new roads under construction, relevant public authority offices etc.) are also on display on the GIS map, which gives the individual investor a full comprehension of the area.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The devised solution is precedented in many ways, including but not limited to compiling of available lands from different information providers, cross-checking of collected data with different information providers, and visualization of the investment sites using GIS service.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Note: The GANNT Chart of the process is in the attachment. The process of developing the system began with the foundation of the East Marmara Development Agency of Turkey in 2009. In the beginning, the staff and methodology and the work plan was developed in the second half of the first year (2011), which took a longer period then expected as the time limits to spare and legal issues. However, the data gathering process took much longer time, which included visiting, collaborating and data producing along with Provincial Directorates of Real Estate, OIZ, Municipality, relevant Ministries, Real Estate Agencies and Landholders. Also, ensuring the sustainability and confidentiality of data were important and took some months to achieve. There was an ongoing regional GIS database and system project, which also completed without any expenditure similar to YATBIS, in order to make spatial analyses for the Regional Plan. The data of potential investment sites for different sectors were integrated to the GIS and the required infrastructure was established for this purpose. The attribute data was integrated with spatial data in order to make both spatial and quantitative and qualitative queries. Then, tag graphics were produced for each parcel (example: http://www.dogumarmarabolgeplani.gov.tr/yua/TR42KGEBSA0013.jpg) to be shown in Google Earth while presenting to potential investors according to their needs. Important Note 2: The example of how the system works can be found within the .rar file (http://www.dogumarmarabolgeplani.gov.tr/yua/YATBIS_example.rar)

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
• Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality (Planning authority) • District Municipalities (provided information on some land lots viable for tourism and commercial investments) • Land owners (natural persons, companies) • Real Estate agents (representatives of land owners)
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Infrastructure and software available to the Development Agency (computers, ArcGIS, Google Earth, MsExcel for inventory, Survemonkey and MSWord forms for data collection) ArcGIS was used to feed data into the system and making queries. Google Earth was used for the display on different computers by converting ArcGIS files to ‘kmz’ file format. FTP server was used to keep the data online.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
• Over the last 3 and a half years, Kocaeli Investment Promotion Office assisted 97 investors . 94 of them were in search of a potential investment site. Last 4 of the international companies (Raywaver, Tri-Wall, Reynaers, Hung A), which were interested in launching business in Kocaeli, received assistance with the full using of GIS map. All four investors • The initiative gained unofficial recognition, as a best practice, by the Coordination Board for Amelioration of Investment Climate in Turkey (YOİKK), which is the supreme platform for discussing measures to facilitate investment inflows in Turkey.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
• All the staff of Kocaeli Investment Promotion Office collects and validates the information related to available land (data integrity, updates, coherence etc.) • Planning Unit cross-checks the land lots with the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality’s zoning plans. • Kocaeli Investment Promotion Office keeps up a log of all investor relations, and maintains it in an Excel file for reporting. • After reaching a critical mass, Kocaeli Investment Promotion Office will conduct a survey about the investor satisfaction on service delivery.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Data provided by the Real Estate owners are sometimes incoherent and lacks geo-location information: The information provided by the Real Estate agents were cross-referenced with already existing land lot information, and locations were identified on GIS-map based on the GIS pictures provided by the agent. Furthermore, due to complimentary and prudent service provision by the Agency, Real Estate agents do not get cold feet with geo-location related data provision. Agency do not eliminate Real Estate agents while assisting investors, unless the information about the land is already provided by the owner him/herself. Zoning plan was changed in Kocaeli: Old geo-location data is invalid in some parts of Kocaeli, due to changed zoning plan. Nonwithstanding information has been corrected by consultation with the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality Zoning Department.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Benefit 1: The initiative provided the Agency to possess the inventory of potential investment sites and facilities of its responsibility region in both spatial and qualitative aspects. Benefit 2: Locational and functionally analyzing the potential investment sites provided the possibility of quickly guiding the potential investors according to their needs became much easier. For instance, when a potential investors demands a site or facility in a specific district or OIZ or tourism development zone, with a specific price range for renting or buying, with a minimum area covered, with specific development conditions, close to sectoral agglomeration or ports or highway, or such; the initiative provides possibility to easily making the query. This aspect is being used since January 2012 and many investors were guided via the initiative. Also, this initiative enables investors to be directed according to existing land uses and provincial preferences. Benefit 3: The initiative made the monitoring and evaluating of land aspects easier in terms of land values and speculation, infrastructural needs, sectoral agglomeration and so on. Benefit 4: The collaboration with ISPAT (National Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey) became easier. As ISPAT is the main responsible actor for foreign direct investments, whenever a large scale investor willing to make investment in Turkey, the initiative is, somehow, decreasing the risk for finding a suitable land for investment.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The system is fully transferable and sustainability is gradually increasing. The know-how of the initiative was turned over by several papers and presentations. As the system became beneficial and known by other Regional Development Agencies of Turkey and the Ministries of Development - Economics - Environment and Urbanization, the know-how was introduced and the process of establishing a similar system was started. Furthermore, the initiative took place as an implementation programme within the 10th Development Plan (2013-2018) of Turkey. Similarly, the sustainability within the Agency is reached by systemizing the data collection, GIS integration and querying, presenting processes. The data sustainability is the main potential problematic of the initiative. When attributes, development conditions or status quo of a site changes, each representative is asked to provide updated information. This was supplied by the legal authority of the RDA’s from the 6th article of the development act of RDA’s (no:5449) which gives the RDA’s gather any related information from any institution. Similarly, the awareness and willingness is increasing for providing information as it is beneficial for both sides.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The initiative was started as an idea of collaboration between the Planning Department and the Investment Support Office. Learning the needs and the aspects of the Region, the initiative was transformed into an organized task to overcome many red tape and obstacles during the investment processes and mechanisms. As the initiative became a success story, many local partners adopted it and gave ideas to develop. However, this brought some problems as different actors wants to gain political or institutional interest. The lesson learned here was to keep the process under control of initiative and to trust the people developing it. One of the important points was seeing that a small idea can turn into a successful project and fill many gaps of large scale business processes.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   East Marmara Development Agency
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Huseyin Ozgur UNSAL
Title:   Specialist  
Telephone/ Fax:   +90 541 387 9946
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   h.ozgurunsal@marka.org.tr  
Address:   Yenisehir Mah. Demokrasi Bul. No:72/A
Postal Code:   41050
State/Province:   KOCAELİ

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