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Home » December 2010

Building credible knowledge on urban land markets to share more widely throughout Africa

Urban LandMark has been working with regional partners over the last two years to improve our understanding of urban land markets in Africa. A key output of this work was the Handbook for Practitioners, entitled 'Urban Land Markets: Economic concepts and tools for engaging in Africa' which was developed by Urban LandMark with UN Habitat and the Global Land Tools Network.

The aim was to provide basic, easily accessible material on how urban land markets function in Africa. The handbook unpacks the key economic concepts needed to be able to talk about and analyse land markets, both formal and informal.

Urban LandMark and UN Habitat then commissioned sub-regional studies which described how land markets work on the ground in cities in North, West, Central, East and Southern Africa. These studies were incorporated into the latest UN-Habitat African State of the Cities Report.

The 2010 edition of the report was officially launched in Mali on 23 November, during the 3rd Africa Ministerial Conference on Housing & Urban Development (AMCHUD), where ministers from all over Africa had the opportunity to share best practice in the areas of land management and sustainable urbanisation and confirmed their commitment to improve housing across the continent.

The Handbook for Practitioners was launched alongside the African State of Cities Report 2010.

For the first time, land market issues are being included in the state of cities reporting framework. Urban Landmark's contributions will underpin and inform future work to improve the understanding of land issues and highlight the implications for urban planning and poverty reduction.

In related work, an article by Caroline Kihato and Mark Napier of Urban LandMark, entitled Rethinking African cities, was published in the Mail&Guardian newspaper recently. Kihato and Napier argue that Africa needs cities that provide ordinary people with choices that enable them to participate fully in urban life.

  • Download the official UN-Habitat media release and the full State of African Cities Report 2010
  • Download the handbook for practitioners, and the official UN-Habitat press release
  • Download an aide-memoire, background documents and the official UN-Habitat media release on AMCHUD