The 'rights based' legislation


The New Urban Agenda committed States to urban development that is people-centered and promotes the realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It also called for ending of all forms of discrimination and violence and the empowerment of all individuals and communities while enabling their full and meaningful participation. As such, UN-Habitat believes that ‘rights based’ legislation can help to promote participation and inclusivity in urban areas.


UN-Habitat is therefore committed to the involvement of urban dwellers in the development decisions and planning outcomes that affect their daily lives. Accordingly, urban laws should be guided by the principles of equality and non-discrimination, inclusion and participation, accountability and the rule of law for economically and socially sustainable, gender sensitive and inclusive urban development. 


The urban development paradigm


UN-Habitat has recently re-stated its view of the urban development paradigm, including the views that:

  • Robust legislative frameworks must underpin all planning;
  • On-going dialogue is necessary between legislation, policy, and planning to ensure relevance, innovation, and a capacity to meet the future challenges facing cities;
  • Development and planning must have a clear and unequivocal rights-based approach; and local governments provide an exciting entry point for change and should be encouraged to create enabling regulations.