Unit of Socio-Economic Studies (USES).
Gaza Strip is basically an small area size of 365 square Km and the population density is one of the largest in the world, more than 5,000 people per square km. In addition, the territory size of the Gaza Strip is a constant (non-expandable) fixed area size than can't be enlarged from the surrounding, based on political agreement or otherwise, to meet the needs of the population expansions within the territory of the Gaza Strip. Land is one of the most important and sustainable assets and a means to sustain livelihood. (e.g. to be used in agri-businesses), in the face of rapidly urban growth that swallows the land continuously. Unfortunately, such land consumption is disproportionate with the other needs of the Gaza Strip's population and developmental sectors (e.g. Water Authority). Resultantly, a large area of the Gaza Strip are already used and become unavailable (out of market), therefore the price of the complementary part of land have been continuously increasing. and therefore many problems are being associated with these determinants of land use within the Gaza Strip, including: sustainable development, pollution of water, air and soil , environmental change, lack of food security, and other issues that are interacted by both human and environment have become a major concern within the Gaza Strip.
Unit of Socio-Economic Studies (USES) focus on the socio-economic impact to the changes in the physical environment - infrastructure - in the Gaza Strip (e.g. increased crowding in the cities, transformation to urban, rural, industrial etc.… or vis versa ), and environmental changes – ecological infrastructure (e.g. prolonged desertification, soil degradation, landslides, etc..). Geospatial data (airborne and satellite borne imageries) and geospatial technology (geographic information systems – GIS, remote sensing systems - RSS, global positioning system-GPS, and geographical survey system) have been successfully documenting such changes in the physical and ecological infrastructures, and have been observed to have potential scientific value for the study of population-environmental interaction. Consequently, geospatial data was found useful to predict the patterns of socio-economic behaviors, which affected in consumption, the distribution of income and wealth, and the people behavior (e.g. purchase decisions and decisions on where to spend their time), and overall quality of life.
USES used different geospatial data and its scientific theories and methods of data collection and trying to integrate, translate, and develop those data in order to be understandable and absorbable by the socio-economic theories and scientific methodologies. Hence, preparation of socio-economic studies that assess the existing socio-economic status through geospatial data and technology, so the USES intends to use sources of the modern geospatial data in the study and analysis the relationships and the interactions between population and environment, which helps in the development of studies and economic activities and social life of the population.
USES is concerned to study and to examine the impact of socio-economic developments and relevant policies in Palestine on the physical and ecological infrastructure and vice versa. SESU will collect, record, combine and archive the available data on natural resources, human resources, socio-economic factors, both are basically from the two main streams of data sets of geospatial and socio-economical.
USES will work to identify and understand the Palestinian society's socio-economic problems throughout geospatial data and technologies, thereby contributing in the development plans, in form of time series qualitative and quantitative maps of the socio-economic situation. USES will help the Palestinian community in decision-making which promotes long-term sustainability, including economic prosperity and social and economic development, through the equitable distribution of natural resources, the improvement of gross domestic product (GDP), life expectancy, literacy, employment, and community health as well as social welfare.
USES will show an example of how to integrate remote sensing, geographic information systems, socio-economic, census, and geospatial data in the study of the relationship between the population and the Land use/Land cover, within the Gaza Strip. The USES will also work on developing baseline socio-economic scenarios for physical and ecological infrastructure change (e.g. climate change, water quality change, etc.…) vulnerability and adaptation assessment. Such studies will focus on socio-economic and geospatial data theories to study the socio-economic challenges and give solutions and alternatives to economic-social through the spatial analysis of geospatial data and its metrics.