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The New Urban Agenda (NUA), adopted in 2016 at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador, represents a globally shared understanding of the vital link between urbanization and a sustainable future. At the heart of this new vision stand a myriad of legal challenges – and opportunities – that must be confronted for the world to make good on the NUA’s promise. In response, this book, which complements and expands on the editors’ previous volumes on urban law in this series, offers a constructive and critical evaluation of the legal dimensions of the NUA. As the volume’s authors make clear, from natural disasters and resulting urban migration in Honshu and Tacloban, to innovative collaborative governance in Barcelona and Turin, to accessibility of public space for informal workers in New Delhi and Accra, and power scales among Brazil’s metropolitan regions, there is a deep urgency for thoughtful research to understand how law can be harnessed to advance the NUA’s global mission of sustainable urbanism.

Law and the New Urban Agenda thus creates a provocative academic dialogue about the legal effects of the NUA, which will be of interest to academics and researchers with an interest in urban studies.

The Urban Law Bulletin: July 21, 2020

In Seattle, Protests Over Racial Equity Turn to Land Ownership

Activists from the Central District, the “heart of Seattle’s Black community,” are looking to further develop their “community land trust – a nonprofit entity that collectively owns and holds property for community uses.” “Their campaign, ‘King County Equity Now,’ sets forth several demands for handing over vacant lots, a nursing home, and other properties to Black community ownership, in addition to establishing a $500 million anti-gentrification land acquisition fund.”

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The Urban Law Bulletin: August 4, 2020

The Battle for Local Control is Now a Matter of Life and Death

“Across the nation, and in particular the South and the Sun Belt, there have been a string of skirmishes . . . between local and state governments” regarding mask mandates. “Typically, Republican governors have couched their crackdowns on strict city ordinances as a defense of liberty and personal responsibility: They want people to wear masks, but believe that mandating it oversteps government’s bounds.”

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The Urban Law Bulletin: July 7, 2020

Over 700 Cash-Strapped Cities Halt Plans to Repair Roads, Water Systems or Make Other Key Investments

As municipalities slash spending in the face of the pandemic, the National League of Cities (NLC) has released a report stating that “more federal aid is necessary to ensure that local financial woes do not imperil the country’s economic recovery.” An NLC survey found that “69% of municipalities have not received any money from the $150 billion federal program [created in the recent CARES Act], either allotted to them from the Treasury Department or their home states.” The survey also found that “about 65 percent of cities [have] either delayed or outright canceled their planned capital expenditures or infrastructure improvements.”

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