PhD research focus in ULG


Land governance can be defined as “the process by which decisions are made regarding the access to and use of land, the manner in which those decisions are implemented, and the way that conflicting interests in land are reconciled” (GLTN/FAO/UN-Habitat).

Good land governance is at the heart of properly functioning land institutions, such as tenure systems and property rights, and is instrumental in determining the success of land administration, management of natural resources, land markets, and land-based revenue generation. These land-based challenges, moreover, are at the root of some of the most pressing concerns in managing cities, 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. 

Overall research field

The ULG specialisation challenges students and researchers to investigate land governance questions in three main clusters:

  1. property rights and the rule of law;
  2. land markets and finance;
  3.  water management and natural resources.

Possible topics

Within these themes, ULG research interests and focal areas include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Land grabbing and land conflict
  • Access to land for affordable housing
  • Tenure security
  • Land-based revenues and land value capture
  • Land-based instruments for social and economic policy
  • Flood resilience management through better land policies and planning systems
  • The governance of land and natural resources in peri-urban areas and the urban-rural continuum