Bogota’s Cadaster has evolved constantly through time by adapting to the city’s needs. It was established as an Administrative Department in 1981 supported by a training process that began in the XIX century.
By the end of the XIX century, Bogota’s Cadaster -like all of the other cities Cadaster’s- was ruled under laws 48 of 1887 and 149 of 1888. These laws gave responsibility for Cadaster to Governor’s Offices, and Municipal and Departmental Cadaster Assemblies. The assemblies were supposed to carry out land appraisals for taxing purposes and elaborate lists of property tax payers.
Law 20 and decree 1227 of 1908 established minimal norms that Regional Land Registry Offices had to follow for the elaboration of land census.
Law 72 of 1926 and its article 6 authorized the city of Bogotá to manage its own rents, reception and collection, either by direct, delegated or rented administration. The city could give these resources the use it saw fit and could create new taxes and contributions if needed. Due to these new functions the city’s administration hired a mission of finance and public administration experts from the United States of America. This mission was in charge of organizing an Audit and a Cadaster Office.
As a result of the mission’s recommendations a Cadaster for Bogotá was created and the municipal assembly was eliminated.
Resolution 27 of 1944 established the Geographic Military and Land Institute as the organism responsible for regulating Bogotá’s Cadaster and setting guidelines to preserve the land census.
During this time books and documents containing land information were created and relationships with the Municipal Treasury and the Registry Office were formed.
During this period most of the Cadaster offices in the country changed their policies, including Bogota’s Cadaster. The office abandoned its technical functions and focused on increasing the city’s income through property taxes. The decision rendered Cadaster offices obsolete and generated a lack of updated cartography and land datasheets.
Looking to bring back 1940s Cadaster system and so that the city could have a real Cadaster office, in 1956, through Agreement 89, the Technical Consultation Committee was created as a consulting entity for management. This committee never functioned properly but still was able to process some information collected in self-declarations and self-appraisals, and included some properties into the land registries.
En 1961 the administration organizes the Technical Consultation Cadaster Committee, in charge of setting scientific, physical, economic, social and legislative bases to collect and produce census and statistic data. This information was necessary for the construction of fiscal, economic and social policies regarding land property inside the city. This is how Cadaster Office was re organized and affiliated to the Secretary of Internal Revenue.
In 1966 the city’s urbanization process increased and in consecuence the prices of land and construction peaked. This forced Cadaster’s Office to calculate new rates for appraisal updating. An administration reform on the state was made in 1968, which also brought reforms to the Administration of Bogota’s Special District and its land registry system.
The criteria and objectives for Cadaster Office were consistent with Agustín Codazzi Institute’s resolution 1173 of 1965. This resolution had a very precise Cadaster policy and defined general norms for the creation of a Cadaster Office. In august of 1978, Management of the district’s Cadaster was internally restructured but still maintained its affiliation to the Secretary of Internal Revenue.
Between 1979 and 1980 Management of the District’s Cadaster created the Cadaster office and made new appraisals for 170.000 properties located in the center and north areas of the city. However, the mistakes made in the creation process, the poor preservation of Cadaster’s Office and the continuous changes of land registry and tax norms, led to a delay on the recollection of property information. This, consequently complicated tax collection and produced inequality for taxpayers. Land information became unreliable and blocked the city’s Cadaster from fulfilling its requirements, in a city that needed more income, more information and more cartography regarding its urban geography.
In 1981, the special district’s administration decides -through Agreement Nº 1 of 1981- the creation of a Administrative Department of the District’s Cadaster. This organ would be in charge of “making, updating and preserving a technical, legal and fiscal Cadaster for all of Bogota’s territory”.
Changes in the district’s land policy and in Cadaster’s Administration coincided with a time of huge rises in land and construction prices due to an increase in cash from illicit drug trade and the coffee bonanza.
This particular situation forced the National Government to take fiscal and administrative measures to ensure an updated census from Cadaster Offices, and to maintain values of land appraisals, with became out of date very fast do to valorization and inflation.
1982 and 1983 where years when huge legal steps where taken in regards to Cadaster and municipal finances. Modifying the legal framework could help property tax collection and allow a more efficient Cadaster System, one in line with the country’s situation and needs.
In 1986, Bogota’s mayor orders its Cadasters Administrative Department to create the city’s Cadaster. Experts from the department develop a new methodology that was assimilated into land localization and recognition processes. This methodology included intensive use of elevated block blueprints through photogrammetric and topographic technics.
Simultaneously, a new procedure was designed with the purpose of recognizing, classifying, and qualifying properties and eliminating the need to visit them from the inside. Furthermore, an econometric model was also created for the estimation of land appraisals and construction prices. The Cadaster Department made significant progress in the area of cartography, called Cartography and Informatics since 1985. This process resulted in a digital map of the city. This map was made available to the public en the year 1992 (scale 1:1.000). The process to establish a system of territorial information also began during this period.
From 1987 to 1992 land registry activity was not very productive. Nonetheless, during this time, registries of 241.000 properties were incorporated to Cadaster’s databases. The fiscal base of Cadaster increased by $2.700.000 COP, due to the incorporation of new properties to the registries and to the automatic adjustment of land appraisals.
From 1992 until the 31st of December of 1999, any process of land registry made by the Administrative Department of District’s Cadaster was in line with Law 14 of 1983 and according to the methodology laid out by Agustin Codazzi Institute. During this period 1’200.000 properties where included in a the land registry process.
Technical and administrative modernization forced the Administration to make two large restructures so that training, conservation and actualization functions where more efficient. Decree 760 of 1994 of the Mayor’s Office modified the organ’s structure.
The XXI century begins with an immense technical leap. Through Agreement 257, November 20 of 2006, the Cadaster organ was transformed into a Special Administrative Unit of the District’s Cadaster (UAECD). This unit has: a technical and specialized nature, its own legal aptitude, administrative and budgetary independence; and its own patrimony. It is also subscribed to the Secretary of Internal Revenue.
This Special Unit intended to reform Bogota’s Cadaster by managing information more efficiently, so that users can have free and easy access to Cadaster’s database and procedures. May 2 of 2012 Agreement 003 was pronounced, “by which internal statutes od the UAECD are adopted and other dispositions are set”.
Within the last five years, since 2011, the organ had updated property information permanently. This has avoided falling behind and it has allowed the Unit to record Bogota’s pulse: how it grows and how society moves within its territory. Therefore defining how, where and in what way buildings change, neighborhood expansion rates, service networks, avenues and all other elements regarding urban dynamics.
The Unit has also worked in the construction of a more efficient Geographic Land Registry System of Information and on a new road and housing nomenclature. This adjustment had taken place since 2000 to help citizens and visitors have a better sense of orientation, through a logical sequence of numbers and letters. The last great contribution of the Unit was through the implementation and coordination of the Capital District’s Spatial Data Infrastructure (Infraestructura de Datos Espaciales del Distrito Capital - IDECA). This is one of the main and most modern receptacles of technical and geographical information in the country. Its function is to facilitate production and access to geographic information inside the Capital District and consequently support is social, economic and environmental development. All of the entities and organ that make up the District’s Administration are a part of IDECA, especially those who produce and use geographic information for their activities. The main sectors that make up IDECA are: Public Management; Government; Security and Communal Living; Social Integration; Mobility; Culture; Sports and Recreation; Planning; Internal Revenue; Health; Education, Habitat; Economic Development; Environment; Administration sector; Female Sector; and the 20 localities that form Bogota.
One of IDECA’s main products is Bogota’s Map Portal, which contains more than 80 layers of geographically referenced information, directed to all types of users: common citizens, businesses, official organisms, private organisms, curators, notaries, investors, researchers and tourists. Geographical information available through this portal is divided in two groups:
Basic information: given by a Reference Map of Bogotá, fed by organisms like Cadaster, Aqueduct of Bogotá (EAB), Secretary of Mobility, Institute for Urban Development (IDU), Secretary of Planning and the National Postal Service 4-72.
Specific interest information: fed by organisms like the Secretary of Environmental Services (water quality), the Sports and Recreation Institute (Parks, bycicle routes, recreation routes), Secretary of health (Health providing Institutions, Basic Health Units, Primary Health Units and Hospitals), Secretary of Education (Basic Education Institutions, Primary and Secondary Schools of private and public nature).
By 2016 CATASTRO want to become a leading institution for property and geographical information.