Towards a future cadastral system: An exploration of the Finnish case

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Cadastral system as the 'where' component of a property rights system is central to effective land markets, land use and sustainable development. The foundation of any cadastral system, the relationship between people and land, is constantly altering and cadastral systems as well have evolved over time in response to these changes. The focus of this dissertation is on understanding the cadastral system dynamism, and more specifically, the potential future changes of cadastral systems. Empirically the main focus is on the Finnish cadastral system that presents an example of a mature cadastral system with long traditions on registration of land related interests. This dissertation suggests that the future of cadastral systems should be approached from a holistic and systemic perspective and, therefore, integrates concepts and knowledge from the disciplines of futures studies and socio-technical transition studies. The dissertation adopts a mixed method approach with a greater emphasis on qualitative research methods. Literary sources, a Delphi questionnaire, interviews, and focus group meetings are used in data collection. This dissertation provides a refined and revised understanding of what drives change in the context of land administration and how the mature cadastral systems might develop in the future. Exploration of emerging issues of change reveals the increasing awareness of the multi-purpose role of cadastral systems, as the identified issues range from technology-oriented ones to political, economic, environmental, and social issues. Overall, the findings suggest that the future of cadastral systems is a complex issue that cannot be reduced to individual technologies or innovations. Rather, this dissertation argues that more emphasis should be put on the institutional foundations, i.e., on the elements that coordinate and stabilise the established systems when the goal is to detect distinctively alternative configurations for cadastral systems. The academic value of this thesis is in bridging the gap between land administration literature and futures studies and socio-technical transition studies, and in creating comprehensive understanding of cadastral system dynamism. The base of evidence obtained in this research also provides new and fresh insights to actors of land administration domain.
Translated title of the contributionKohti tulevaisuuden katasterijärjestelmää: Tarkastelussa Suomen katasterijärjestelmä
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Riekkinen, Kirsikka, Supervising Professor
  • Riekkinen, Kirsikka, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-3797-4, 978-951-48-0264-5
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-3798-1, 978-951-48-0265-2
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • land administration
  • cadastral systems
  • cadastre
  • land registration
  • future
  • signals
  • trends
  • pathways
  • user group perspective

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