Urban Law Day (Johannesburg, South Africa, 29 March 2019)

On the joint behalf of the Urban Legislation Unit at UN Habitat, the School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand and IRGLUS, I organised an “Urban Law Day” at Wits in Johannesburg, on 29 March 2019. Following UN Habitat’s 1-day conference format for its Urban Law Day series, and the first of the series to be held in the global South, the theme for the day was “Law, The New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Cities”. Three themed sessions considered the readiness of local government law, planning law and municipal finance law in selected SADC states for implementing the commitments in the New Urban Agenda. Speakers included legal and planning academics, practitioners, researchers and consultants, as well as a member of the judiciary. The final session of the day was the launch of the outcome of the Urban Legislation Unit’s Planning Law Survey conducted for the Sub-Saharan region of the UN Global Sample of Cities. The day succeeded in its aims to stimulate discussion over ways to address shortcomings in existing legal frameworks, as well as related challenges of “localising”, “legalising” and implementing the commitments of SDG11 and the NUA, and to strengthen urban law networks in the global South.


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