Urban law is the collection of policies, laws, decisions, and practices that govern the management and development of the urban environment. Legal systems are among the major impediments preventing innovative mayors and urban managers from creating reforms and overcoming the pressing challenges of their cities and urban systems. Many cities are burdened by laws that do not match the prevailing urban reality. Worse still, the capacity to enforce laws and regulations that are already in place is often lacking. Municipal authorities often have limited access to specialist legislative expertise, and struggle to respond to these situations. The multiplicity and rigidity of laws and regulations compel citizens to pursue informal routes to conduct land and property transactions, to do business, to acquire means of a livelihood, and even to access basic services. As a result, parallel systems flourish and Urban Legal informality becomes the norm.
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