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P17


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Sustainable urban land governance at the interface between common, public and formerly customarily controlled spaces 
Convenors:
Carolin Dieterle (LSE)
Alexandra Panman (UCL)
Stream:
Urbanisation
Format:
Panel
Sessions:
Wednesday 6 July, 13:00-13:40 (UTC+1)

Short Abstract:

This panel aims to consider and debate key issues raised by research from different disciplines on the interface between common, public and formerly customarily controlled spaces and the urban development process, whether within major cities or as part of rapidly urbanising peripheral zones.

Long Abstract

Transformation of land and property rights is a feature of urban development processes that remains poorly understood. In contexts of rapid urbanisation and increasing pressures on land for residential and commercial purposes, competing and overlapping land rights and claims can lead to protracted conflicts, hindering poverty reduction and sustainable economic development. Peri-urban ‘transitional zones’, as sites for infrastructure and informal settlement by rural migrants and people pushed out of cities, are changing from agricultural to urban land uses, creating additional pressures on food production and supplies for urban consumption. Informal settlements, are often still constructed without adequate planning and in hazardous areas, creating tensions between environmental protection and secure rights to land and housing. The erosion of public space, and pressures on remaining common resources in and around major cities is compounded by new ecological and environmental challenges. How can the needs for economic development, secure rights and food and environmental security be reconciled, amidst increasing land pressures in urban and peri-urban areas?

This panel considers issues raised by research from different disciplines on the interface between common, public, and formerly customarily controlled spaces and the urban development process, whether within major cities or urbanising peripheral regions. It seeks to reflect on and propose new ideas with the aim of rethinking urban and peri-urban research and policy agendas. Of particular interest are contributions on how overlapping and/or competing land and property rights, and relations between different social groups matter for equitable and sustainable development in these contexts. How do tenure dynamics underpin urban development processes, and who gains and who loses? How do private, customary, or collective rights shape the social, environmental, and economic dimensions of urban development? What types of governance innovations can help to overcome land-use conflicts and contested property rights and promote more sustainable and inclusive outcomes?

This panel would contribute to conference Theme Two (‘Urbanising futures, governance and social movements’), with potential cross-cutting links to Themes One and Four. As a research paper-based panel, in line with guidelines for shorter, more interactive sessions, interested researchers are asked to submit contribution outlines in the form of extracts or summaries of papers, pre-recorded presentations, slide sets, or other suitable formats. Contributors will be selected in coordination with the DSA Land, Politics and Sustainability Study Group, and asked to review one another’s pieces to prepare for the panel discussion and interact in a designated online space. Contributors will have 2-3 minutes to summarise key points, new ideas and insights on governance of land in urban and urbanising areas arising from their own research. To stimulate discussion, each will be asked to respond to questions, compiled after selecting the contributions, to be circulated in advance.

Accepted papers: