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Global Land Tool Network – UN-Habitat

secure-land-for-allA new publication, co-written by Julian Quan and Geoff Payne, was launched on 06 May at the Commission on Sustainable Development in New York. ‘Secure Land Rights for All’ addresses land tenure issues and policy options in both rural and urban areas. The publication is intended to assist policy makers to understand and apply practical options for making land rights more secure in ways which also improve land policies as a basis for sustainable development.

Read ‘Secure Land Rights for All’

Scoping mission to Mongolia with the World Bank


Geoff has been invited by the World Bank to contribute to a scoping mission on urban planning and affordable housing in Mongolia. The study focuses on the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, which has experienced rapid population growth in the last decade and has extensive areas of housing developed as informal settlements.

The mission will review previous work on these issues, meet key stakeholders in the public, private and civil society sectors, as well as local residents and identify policy options for local consideration. The first mission took place between 25 May – 9 June and a further mission is planned for late September.

Megacities-Megachallenge colloquium in Germany


Geoff was invited by the organisers to be a discussant at the final colloquium of a six year multi-disciplinary research program on Megacities – Informal Dynamics of Global Change held in Bonn, Germany. The programme focused on two major urban centres – Dhaka in Bangladesh and the Pearl River Delta in China.

More than 100 researchers from Bangladesh, China and Germany assessed a wide range of challenges facing expanding from climate change, governance, public health, migration, economics, and environment. Geoff was the discussant for a session on ‘Informality and Urban Governance’ which included two presentations on both country cases. Geoff is extremely grateful to Professor Dr. Frauke Kraas and Professor Harald Sterly for the opportunity to participate in this stimulating event and for the hospitality provided.

GPA Report on Security of Tenure for the United Nations


The GPA report “Holding On: Security of Tenure – Types, Policies, Practices and Challenges” which was commissioned by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, was formally approved in February, 2013. The report was prepared by Geoff Payne and Alain Durand-Lasserve and revised following its presentation at an Expert Group Meeting in Geneva in October, 2012. GPA thanks the Special Rapporteur for permission to make the report available. To download a copy of the report, click here. The full report can also be accessed here.

Welcome Emma and Good Luck Isabel!


Geoff is proud to announce that Emma Johnson has joined GPA as an associate as of March 2013. Emma has recently completed a master’s in International Planning and Sustainable Development from the University of Westminster and returned from an internship with UN-Habitat in Bangkok. She is particularly interested in investigating rights-based approaches to development, land tenure issues and mechanisms for effective urban governance.

Geoff wishes to congratulate Isabel on her appointment to the World Bank’s South Asia Development Effectiveness unit. Isabel has been helpful in editing a chapter on the political economy of land markets which Geoff has been completing for a book being edited by Paul Lindert and to be published shortly by Earthscan. She will be based in Washington but working on the South Asia region. Isabel is due to start work in May.

Future of Cities


Geoff was invited by the UK Government Chief Scientific Officer, Sir John Beddington, to participate in a Government ‘Foresight’ workshop on the ‘Future of Cities’. The workshop brought together a number of professionals from public, private and civil society organisations and academic institutions to assess what the UK can offer and learn from other countries. The Foresight project will undertake a number of studies over an eighteen month period.

Ulaanbaatar Land Administration and Land Markets Study

Funding bodies: The World Bank

Duration: January 2013 – June 2014

Objectives: Review of current affordable housing policies in Ulaanbaatar


GPA was commissioned by the World Bank in April, 2013 to contribute to a review of current affordable housing policies and draw lessons to contribute to an on-going effort of the city to improve the living condition for residents in ger areas, where the majority of low-income households live in Ulaanbaatar. At present, there is a critical lack of data in housing that makes it almost impossible for city leaders to make evidence-based decisions. The task will first look at the city’s housing supply and demand through a segmented market analysis. Through the analysis, it intends to provide policy recommendations and possible approaches for the city to effectively improve housing conditions and meeting housing demands for its citizens, particularly for those in the ger areas. It is expected that the task will provide critical guidance to city leaders as they make decisions intended to expand affordable housing for ger area residents and improve the city’s overall planning for more sustainable urban development. This task will support the city in establishing a framework for data collection and analysis to enable it to make more informed decisions.