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  October 2012
  Issue homepage
  Roundtable on reforms in planning law
  Housing Policy Development and Management Certificate Programme at Wits
  6th World Urban Forum
  Urban LandMark coordinates Urban Land Page of the Land Portal
  Update on Cities Alliance Tenure Security Facility
  News & views
  In the news

Roundtable on reforms in planning law
Parliament finalised its public hearings on the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Bill (SPLUMB) in August 2012. Shortly afterwards, on 22-23 August, a group of government officials, consultants and academics came together in Cape Town to discuss reforms in planning law. The meeting was convened by the University of the Western Cape Community Law Centre, in collaboration with Urban LandMark, the South African Cities Network and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
Urban LandMark participates in Housing Policy Development and Management Certificate Programme at Wits University
Since 2010, Urban LandMark has hosted two days of this five-day certificate programme, focusing on urban land markets. Presented by the Wits University Graduate School of Public and Development Management, the course aims to build capacity in South Africa's housing sector by enhancing the understanding and implementation of the country's policy of developing 'sustainable human settlements'.
6th World Urban Forum 2012
Lauren Royston, theme co-ordinator for Urban LandMark's urban land rights and secure tenure programme of work, reports on our participation in the 6th World Urban Forum (WUF) from 1-6 September 2012 in Naples, Italy. As a new partner in the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), Urban LandMark received an invitation from UN-Habitat to attend the forum. One of our main aims in attending the WUF was to strengthen our partnership with the GLTN, a network of international organisations and individuals promoting secure land and property rights for all.
Urban Landmark becomes coordinator of the Urban Land Page of the Land Portal
Urban LandMark has been appointed the coordinator for the Land Portal's Urban Land Page from August 2012. The Land Portal website is a global gateway for land-related information, aggregating information on land from multiple sources and building a specialised community of land experts from civil society organisations, governmental and intergovernmental institutions and academia.
Update on Cities Alliance Tenure Security Facility
As reported in previous issues of this newsletter, Urban LandMark is implementing the 'Tenure Security Facility Southern Africa 2012' programme, funded by the Cities Alliance and co-funded by Ukaid from the Department for International Development (DFID UK). The project aims to provide specialist tenure technical assistance and advisory services to slum upgrading initiatives in the region. During 2012, project activities have focused mainly on city selection for further studies on the operation of the market, partnership building and refining our survey methodology.
Urban LandMark news and views
Read about Urban LandMark's news and views in the media including a response to Business Day on empowering home owners and not criminalising the resale of houses in the short term.

In the news

Website revamp coming soon
We are in the process of redesigning our website, both to enhance its functionality and to update its look and feel.

Keep your eyes peeled for the new-look site, which should be up and running by early November 2012.

Latest research and publications

Managing urban land: a guide for municipal practitioners
Urban LandMark recently developed a guide for local government in South Africa to assist municipal officials involved in urban land governance to carry out their functions in ways that ensure pro-poor outcomes in the urban land market. Managing Urban Land: a guide for municipal practitioners was launched in Johannesburg on 27 September 2012. Four one-day workshops aimed at municipal practitioners are being held in October and November 2012 for the City of Johannesburg (including municipal practitioners from Tshwane and Ekurhuleni), eThekwini, the City of Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Release | Downloads

Report on the 'Operation of the Market' study in Maputo now available
In 2010, Urban LandMark together with partners from Universidade Eduardo Modlane and Universidade Pedagogica undertook a survey to understand how ordinary urban dwellers access, hold and transact land in two peri-urban sites in Maputo. The findings of this study tell an important story of the significance of local land practices in creating opportunities for urban dwellers to secure land rights in the absence of an accessible and affordable formal system. Downloads

Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF) for South Africa
Previous issues of our newsletter (April 2011 and June 2012) detailed Urban LandMark's work on a Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF) for South Africa, in collaboration with the World Bank. The SA LGAF report is now available on the World Bank website.

Urban LandMark Conference 2012 report now available
Urban LandMark's annual conference, held from 12-13 April 2012 in Johannesburg, provided an opportunity for the programme to reflect on its work of the last six years. It also brought together a range of academic, government, civil society and private sector practitioners in the land, housing and property market sectors to further investigate the theme, 'Investing in land and strengthening property rights'. Participants were able to grapple with issues such as the nature and effectiveness of poor people's access to land; land rights and recognition; and the relationship between these factors and the ability to unlock economic growth and opportunity. Download the conference report.

Urban land issues analysed from the perspective of markets in Urban Forum Special Issue 2012
The Springer-published journal Urban Forum in September 2012 brought out a special issue containing some of the papers presented at Urban LandMark's November 2010 conference, Rethinking emerging urban land markets in fast growing African cities, and some papers specifically commissioned for this Special Issue. Urban Forum addresses the broad developmental issues of urbanisation in the Third World while providing a distinctive African focus on the subject. These papers make an important contribution to understanding urban land issues from the perspective of 'markets', which are rarely discussed.