Urban Legal Network


An important part of ULN is to disseminate useful information and debates around urban law. UN-Habitat does this through a range of technical publications, training manuals and theme based papers.

URBANLEX: The UN-Habitat Urban Law Database

4th UCLG Congress

UN-Habitat has now developed its urban legal data base – UrbanLex! This is a unique resource which is developing a free online ‘library’ of laws with a focus on laws from developing countries. The laws are organized around basic urban development themes that match the regulatory and thematic areas of most local and municipal. The data base’s additional value is in the digests that accompany each law, providing an accessible description of its key contents and objectives and compliments other online urban law resources of the Agency including the Urban Legal and Global Land Tool Networks. The data base is being progressively populated via partnerships with a range of dynamic institutions from around the world including The Urban and Environmental Planning and Research Centre in Istanbul Technical University, Turkey and Renmin University, Beijing, China.

Urban Lex now has the policies, practices and legislation from more than 50 countries. Laws have been acquired through our field work and through partners and includes both developed and developing countries such as Japan, Ireland, Malaysia and South Africa, Rwanda, Colombia, and Kenya. With our recent partnership, we are scaling up our collection of Chinese urban law. It also has compiled the laws related to the specific issues such as public space, density, and urban regeneration that legislatures and practitioners often face. It enables users to do more detailed search for identifying essential laws and finding the solutions to their issues. Urban Lex also has recently collected many national urban policies from all over the world especially from the countries in Africa where access to the legislation is limited.

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