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Land governance and urban growth - Leveraging land value to achieve sustainable urbanization - WUF10 (8-13 February 2020, Abu Dhabi, UAE)
12 Feb 2020 -  Land governance is crucial for sustainable urban development and urban growth. It enables the implementation of urban plans, it is necessary for the provision of affordable housing, basic services, and infrastructure, and it includes a set of land-based financing instruments that can enable the financial sustainability of cities and local authorities. 

55 percent of the global population residing in urban areas and cities account for more than 80% of global GDP. Alongside this development, the trend is the challenge of catering for inclusive and equitable cities’ extension. The provision of serviced urban land needs to match the demand posed by urban expansion and mitigates the risks posed by the projected growth of the urban slum population to 1.4 billion by 2020.

The event will focus on the interface between land governance and urban growth through the following: land-based financing in the process of devising innovative financial mechanisms and related land data to inform policy and build evidence on the importance of land in achieving sustainable urbanization as stipulated in Goal 11 of the SDGs.

Reliable land data and information is crucial to inform decision-making and to guide governments in developing their urban strategies to build inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and human settlements. One of the practical benefits of improved land tenure security, land and property data collection, analysis and documentation are improved capacity for land-based financing. The potential contribution of land-based financing to the development of sustainable and equitable cities and properly serviced communities is not often fully realized in developing countries, though the land is an important source of financing for urban development, including infrastructure, social housing, and basic services.

Secure land rights for all and sustainable land use are key to ensuring successful implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs, especially in particular targets 1.4 and 11.3 and indicators ‘1.4.2: Proportion of the adult population with secure tenure rights to land, with legally recognized documentation and who perceive their rights to land as secure, by sex and by type of tenure’, and ‘11.3.1: Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate’). Paragraph 35 of the New Urban Agenda also pledges to “promote increased security of tenure for all, recognizing the plurality of tenure types, and to developing fit-for-purpose and age-, gender-and environment-responsive solutions within the continuum of land and property rights, with particular attention to security of land tenure for women as key to their empowerment”.  Paragraph 109 highlights for putting in place “strategies that go beyond physical and environmental improvements to ensure that slums and informal settlements are integrated into the social, economic, cultural and political dimensions of cities.

The Special session Event will bring together key actors and partners to discuss related policies, tools, and mechanisms for how to harness opportunities for sustainable development in cities through innovative approaches to land governance. The discussion will elaborate upon the commitments outlined in the SDGs and NUA to generate innovative strategies, particularly in relation to land-based data monitoring and opportunities for land-based financing, for the development of urban spatial frameworks and territorial systems which preserve and promote the economic, social and cultural function of urban land.

Objectives:

Share knowledge about successful and innovative approaches to foster and finance sustainable urbanization by unlocking the potential of land-based financing and revenue generation;
Debate how to strengthen the capacity of countries to collect and analyse land data and report on land-related SDG targets and indicators;
Strengthen multi-stakeholder networks and partnerships around land governance in support of sustainable and innovative urban development approaches.

Guiding Questions:

What are the innovative methods to foster and support financially sustainable urbanization by unlocking the potential of land-based financing and revenue generation?
How to strengthen the capacity of countries to collect and analyze land data and report on land-related SDG targets and indicators?
How can we empower multi-stakeholder networks and partnerships around land governance in support of sustainable and innovative urban development approaches?
What are the engagements, and the way forward approach that needs to be agreed upon for the after 10th session of the World Urban Forum?
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