Law and the New Urban Agenda  book cover
1st Edition

Law and the New Urban Agenda

ISBN 9780367188733
Published May 12, 2020 by Routledge
226 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The New Urban Agenda (NUA), adopted in 2016 at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador, represents a globally shared understanding of the vital link between urbanization and a sustainable future. At the heart of this new vision stand a myriad of legal challenges – and opportunities – that must be confronted for the world to make good on the NUA’s promise. In response, this book, which complements and expands on the editors’ previous volumes on urban law in this series, offers a constructive and critical evaluation of the legal dimensions of the NUA. As the volume’s authors make clear, from natural disasters and resulting urban migration in Honshu and Tacloban, to innovative collaborative governance in Barcelona and Turin, to accessibility of public space for informal workers in New Delhi and Accra, and power scales among Brazil’s metropolitan regions, there is a deep urgency for thoughtful research to understand how law can be harnessed to advance the NUA’s global mission of sustainable urbanism.

It thus creates a provocative and academic dialogue about the legal effects of the NUA, which will be of interest to academics and researchers with an interest in urban studies.

Table of Contents


Nestor M. Davidson and Geeta Tewari


Robert Lewis-Lettington and Anne Klen-Amin

PART I The New Urban Agenda in the institutions and structures of urban law

1 The New Urban Agenda, effective national policies, and legislation

Maria Mousmouti

2 Financing the New Urban Agenda

Matthew D. Glasser

3 The New Urban Agenda, metropolitan challenges, and municipal autonomy in Brazil

Lilian Regina Gabriel Moreira Pires

4 The role of law in relation to the New Urban Agenda and the European Urban Agenda – a multi-stakeholder perspective

Christian Iaione and Elena De Nictolis

5 The New Urban Agenda and local citizen participation: the Spanish example

Francisco Velasco and Carmen Navarro

6 Cities, data, and the New Urban Agenda

Beatriz Botero Arcila

PART II Urban form and inclusion at the nexus of law and the New Urban Agenda

7 Human rights in the New Urban Agenda: towards inclusive urban planning

Anne Klen-Amin and Rashid Abubakar

8 Does the New Urban Agenda provide a stable legal framework for property rights and land use law?

Marta Lora-Tamayo Vallvé

9 Shifting paradigms from between the lines? Legal internalizations of the right to adequate housing in South Africa

Marius Pieterse

10 Social inclusion and the New Urban Agenda: street vendors and public space

Marlese Von Broembsen

11 Lessons from post-disaster shelter policy for the New Urban Agenda

Chien-Yu Liu

12 The challenges of urban mobility regulation and the New Urban Agenda

Andrés Boix-Palop


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Nestor M. Davidson is the Albert A. Walsh Chair in Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law at Fordham Law School, and Faculty Director of the Fordham Urban Law Center. Professor Davidson has published widely in the fields of urban law, state and local government, property, and affordable housing. Professor Davidson practiced with the firm of Latham and Watkins and served as Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Professor Davidson earned his AB from Harvard College and his JD from Columbia Law School.

Geeta Tewari is the Director of the Fordham Urban Law Center. Tewari has practiced with the New York City Law Department and the Washington D.C. Office of the Attorney General, and also holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Columbia University. Her literary work has appeared in Granta magazine, New England Review , and other publications. She is a member of the New York Women’s Bar Association’s Advancing the Status of Women Committee and manages the Urban Law Center’s Women in Urban Law Leadership Initiative. In 2020, she will join the faculty of Widener University Delaware Law School as Assistant Professor of Law.



A groundbreaking volume on the essential role that law, and law reform, plays in realizing the promise of the New Urban Agenda. The contributors bring to the forefront the different challenges that cities and their leaders face as they endeavor to incorporate more robust citizen participation, protect human rights, sustainably develop to meet the demands of urban migration, and prepare for climate change and other threats to the health and safety of their communities. The range of contributors and the various regions they represent is a strength of the volume and renders it an indispensable starting place for appreciating the legal dimensions of the ambitious New Urban Agenda.

-Sheila R. Foster, Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Urban Law and Public Policy, Georgetown University Law Center

Law and the New Urban Agenda underscores the value of urban law as a discipline in supporting the healthy development of inclusive cities for all. This timely volume sheds light on the many complex challenges that urban growth poses for legal systems around the globe and I commend this eclectic group of scholars for their engagement with the New Urban Agenda.

-Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director, UN-Habitat