The future of urbanization depends on access to serviced urban land

In the next 20 years, up to 3 billion people will move from rural to urban areas, and most will end up living in slums — unless we find a way for them to gain access to land.

There’s a huge opportunity to reverse the situation and bring all those people into the formal economy as workers and consumers, U.N.-Habitat land specialist Solomon Haile told Devex Associate Editor Richard Jones earlier this year on the sidelines of a high-level conference hosted by the European Parliament to address challenges posed by insecure land tenure and an absence of property rights in many parts of the developing world.

U.N.-Habitat’s Solomon Haile: The future of urbanization depends on access to serviced urban land

See more from the High-Level Conference on Property Rights:

   ● Property rights: The missing key to eradicate poverty?
  ● Reactivating 'dead' rural capital to reduce poverty

Haile also weighed in how to provide technical expertise to governments so they can scale up successful programs, coupled with advocating for sustainable urbanization, which he called “the defining phenomenon” of the 21st century.

Click on the clip below to learn more from the U.N.-Habitat expert, including why urban growth, land tenure and climate change all are interconnected and should not be dealt with separately as development issues.

U.N.-Habitat’s Solomon Haile on the importance of land.

What do you think the aid community can do to bring slum dwellers into the formal economy over the next 20 years? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

The High-Level Conference on Property Rights, the first of its kind to be jointly organized by the European Parliament and the European Commission, took place on April 9, 2014, at the European Parliament in Brussels. Devex was a proud media partner.

About the author

  • Carlos Santamaria

    Carlos is a former associate editor for breaking news in Devex's Manila-based news team. He joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua, EFE ,and Philippine social news network Rappler in Madrid, Beijing, Manila, New York, and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.

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