Urban Land Governance

Land is a natural resource that is fundamental to how cities work. All over the world it is a critical instrument to help policymakers and urban managers achieve their goals of economic productivity, equity and environmental sustainability. Conversely, land-based challenges are at the root of some of the most pressing concerns facing local governments and their business and civil society partners, including: local economic development, strategic and physical planning, enabling social housing and poverty reduction measures, providing infrastructure and basic services, and managing the urban environment.

The New Urban Agenda considers urban land governance as one of the main pre-requisites for realising its overall goal of sustainable urban development. The way in which land is governed determines how well all kinds of land institutions function, such as tenure systems and property rights, land markets, rule of law, land administration systems and land-based revenue generation.

Land also incorporates water, water bodies and other natural resources in urban and peri-urban areas. Therefore, one of the main challenges for urban managers is to achieve sustainable land development with water and other natural resources and not through the destruction and depletion of these resources.