Founded in 2012, the Urban Law Center at Fordham Law School seeks to investigate and improve the role of the law and legal systems in contemporary urbanism. It promotes an interdisciplinary understanding of the legal, governance, and regulatory aspects of urban environments by advancing collaborative research and scholarship, organizing local and global convenings, and supporting knowledge sharing, career pathways and pedagogy in the world of urban law. In particular, the Center’s efforts focus on forces that shape urban inequality and urban innovation, targeting the most pressing issues facing our nation’s cities and their metropolitan regions.
The Urban Law Lab is a collaborative research project which adopts a critical approach to understanding the relationship between law, rights, and the urban. Our principal aim is to open up a discussion in this field, and to unite these disciplines so as to better inform policy, scholarship, theory, and the practice of law.
We take an open approach to the notion of rights insofar as they apply spatially. We do not limit our understanding of rights to legal rights, but value both political claims and non-binding rights recognised through a variety of platforms, including international and regional, governmental and non-governmental arenas.
We take a broad approach to the notion of the urban. We do not view this construct within a particular notion of what a city is, but acknowledge the wide array of environments which we inhabit.
We do not confine ourselves to any particular jurisdiction. We seek to understand the relationship between law and the urban in both common law and civil jurisdictions, as well as beyond the law itself. We are interested in how the law is made and shaped through the decisions of courts at various levels, and by legislatures and councils existing across the law-making spectrum.
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