By Anthony Piaskowy, Communication and Urban Specialist for USAID's Land Tenure and Property Rights Division.
Last week, USAID hosted three experts in the urban land tenure sector at a launch event of its new issue brief on Land Tenure in Urban Environments. Consultant Geoffrey Payne, Habitat for Humanity International's Liz Blake, and UN-Habitat's Remy Seitchiping all spoke about the importance of addressing land tenure challenges in cities to solve development challenges across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America. The conversation builds on the many urban tenure presentations at the World Bank Annual Conference on Land and Poverty two weeks ago, and those taking place this week at the World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia.
Remarks by the panelists and narrative in the issue brief reinforce the idea that land tenure issues present complex challenges. Solutions to these challenges are often nuanced, but do not need to be large - in terms of scope or money. In many cases, incremental activities are effective at increasing the perception of tenure security, which is often enough to improve lives and livelihoods.
Solutions for increasing tenure security include leveraging training, information awareness, organization and technology. Secure land tenure and property rights generate benefits for vulnerable communities, private sector investors, government and civil society advocates. These efforts also build greater municipal capacity and improve the provision of key services, which are priorities in USAID's Urban Services Policy.
Together with its partners, USAID will work to address land tenure and governance issues in the increasingly urban developing world. Read the issue brief on Land Tenure in Urban Environments and if you have any questions, contact us or send a tweet via @USAIDEnviro or @USAIDEconomic.