Urban legislation is the collection of policies, laws, decisions and practices that govern the management and development of the urban environment. Urban law is necessary to create a stable and predictable framework for both public and private sector action in order to: guarantee inclusion of the interests of vulnerable groups, define conditions for access to land, infrastructure, housing and basic services; lay out rules for planning and decision-making; push for improved livelihoods and living conditions through setting the requirements for urban development initiatives.
UN-Habitat has engaged with over 40 Member States regarding the reform of their legal frameworks since 2013.
Significant achievements in increasing the capacity of local and national governments in implementing enabling regulations for city extension have also been made across all of the ‘Achieving Sustainable Urban Development’(ASUD) City Extension projects (Philippines, Rwanda, Mozambique, Egypt and Colombia).
The ‘Future Cities’project for Saudi Arabia is reviewing the legal framework for urban planning and development control, providing the evidence base and impact assessments for the formulation of new primary legislation and regulatory instruments at the national, provincial and local levels. The review of the Egyptian legal framework and the identification of urban redevelopment and densification best practices in Egypt have created a momentum for change in the country, contributing to the preparation for different policy options and supporting legal reforms on urban planning and land readjustment that have culminated in the adoption of draft primary legislation by the national government and in amended practices at the governorate level.