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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: COVID-19 May 18, 2020

Seattle Will Keep Some Streets Closed Even After Coronavirus


“Nearly 20 miles of Seattle, Wash.[sic] streets will permanently close to most vehicle traffic by the end of May,” the city’s mayor recently announced.  Streets had been temporarily closed to “provide more space for people to walk and bike at a safe distance apart due to [COVID-19].” The Seattle Department of Transportation may close other streets, “in the coming months, depending on community demand.”

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The Urban Law Bulletin: June 2, 2020

Judge Issues Order for Los Angeles to Move Homeless Living Near Freeways, Citing Health Concerns

On May 15, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter issued a preliminary injunction “requir[ing] city, county and homelessness officials to provide space in shelters or alternative housing for the estimated [7,000 homeless] living near freeway overpasses, underpasses and ramps.” Judge Carter cited health concerns, specifically the contracting and spreading of COVID-19, and the risk of being hit by cars, for the injunction.

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The Urban Law Bulletin: COVID-19 April 8, 2020

SC Attorney General: Cities cannot enact their own ‘stay at home’ orders 

As cities in South Carolina have begun issuing “‘stay at home’ orders to . . . reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus”, Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that “local governments do not have the authority to exercise emergency powers that are delegated to the Governor by state lawmakers.” In support, Wilson cited a 1980 state government opinion, which concluded that “the Governor’s emergency powers preempt those of counties and municipalities under [SC Code §] 25-1-440 . . . .” 

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The Urban Law Bulletin: COVID-19 April 28, 2020

How COVID-19 Is Changing Cities’ Approach to Homelessness

“The Centers for Disease Control has issued guidance saying that cities should not clear [homeless] encampments unless individual housing is available.” In response, “a number of cities have begun securing hotel space for people experiencing homelessness.” As one example, San Francisco has “introduced emergency legislation to force the city to acquire and provide more hotel rooms after a number of shelter residents had tested positive for the virus.”

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