Descriptive Case Studies
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Law and the Urban Environment

Using the Law to Resolve Conflicts Over Land

Thomas Coggin

October 2018, English

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

This case study considers conflicts over urban land, a problem prevalent in many densely settled environments today, and advocates for the use of the law and its mechanisms as a way to balance competing interests in land. The case study, based on two legal cases in South Africa, approaches the problem from two perspectives: an occupier of land forced out of her home through an illegal eviction and a landowner dispossessed of his property through an unlawful occupation. The overall study demonstrates how both parties approached a court of law to further their interests and how the court subsequently sought to balance these interests in resolving the respective urban land conflicts.

Recommended citation: Coggin, Thomas. 2018. “Law and the Urban Environment: Using the Law to Resolve Conflicts Over Land.” Case study. Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.


Dispute Resolution, Housing, Land Law, Security of Tenure