Guide to reforming African urban law published

15 Jun 2017
Guide to reforming African urban law published

The African Centre for Cities is pleased to launch a new publication, Reforming Urban Laws in Africa: A Practical Guide. The guide has been written by Stephen Berrisford and the late Patrick McAuslan, to provide hands-on guidance to officials, practitioners and researchers working on the urgent task of improving, modernizing and rationalizing urban legislation in the sub-Saharan region.

Drawing on the authors' combined experience of over seventy years' of work on urban legal reform in Africa, the guide is written from the starting point that the process of urban legal reform is absolutely essential to ensure the successful implementation and uptake of the law. How the law is written, who is involved and what information is taken into account by the drafting team will all determine whether the law is likely to achieve its desired outputs.

For too long we have complained that our urban laws – legislation dealing with urban planning, land, urban governance and housing, just to name a few examples – are outdated and ineffective. When we try to create new laws to replace the problematic older ones, some so old that they date back to colonial times, we often find that the new laws are just as ineffective. We hope that this guide will help everyone involved in urban legal reform to work together, following new processes, asking new questions, consulting new people, to ensure that our twenty-first century urban laws are fit for purpose and play the role they need to play in realizing the goals of the New Urban Agenda agreed to in 2016 in Quito at the Habitat III conference.

The guide was developed with the generous support of the Cities Alliance, Urban LandMark and UN-Habitat.

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