Urban LandMark

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A Handbook on Urban Land Markets for Africa

Managing urban land: a guide for municipal practitioners

Training for Township Renewal Initiative:
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Market Interventions for Sustainable Cities: Understanding Land Markets

A chapter from SA Cities Network's Urban Land Paper Series Vol 1


The focus of this paper by Nicola King and Mark Napier is on understanding the land market in the context of the sustainable cities debate. Why does the market fail, and how can we develop better-informed interventions? The paper considers how policies, developmental interventions and land-use patterns affect spatial development (in the context of divergent local needs and green economy objectives) and how they could contribute to the creation of more sustainable cities.

King and Napier consider the concepts of land market distortion, the nature of land markets, the concept of equity and fairness in the land market, and a range of possible interventions that could be used to improve efficiencies. The paper contains a framework for sustainable urban land markets, based on the interventions identified, and concludes that achieving socially desirable outcomes will be a complex and challenging task because of the intricacies of the land market system.

[Based on an excerpt from the introduction to the Urban Land Paper Series]

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