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Regulating informal housing for the Syrian reconstruction. Between urban renewal and upgrading

Antonio-Martín Porras-Gómez (Facultat de Dret, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)

Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law

ISSN: 2514-9407

Article publication date: 27 November 2023




Informal housing stands out as a major challenge surrounding the massive reconstruction of Syrian cities, devastated by a bloody war and a terrible earthquake. The purpose of this article is to assess the adequacy of the Syrian Law to adequate provide a solution to this problem.


With the purpose of informing the question, this paper offers a legal-institutional analysis of the informal housing phenomenon and the corresponding regulatory responses in Syria. A literature review is conducted, and functional analysis of the legal texts and their effective implementation is provided.


First, informal housing in Syria has been fostered by the existence of an erratic regulation, particularly burdened by the incoherence of passing repressive provisions against informal housing while master plans were conspicuously absent or incomplete. Second, the regulatory policy seems to be leaning toward the urban renewal option, indicating a supply-oriented housing approach that may face serious challenges due to the scarcity of capital. In this context, regulation should not underestimate any policy tools at hand (renewal and upgrading; with the contribution of public, private and cooperative sectors).


Although there have been several studies on informal housing in Syria, none has taken a legal institutionalist approach. Furthermore, this study offers an up-to-date account of the problem, taking into account the problematic after the 2023 earthquake and the content of Law 2/2023.



Porras-Gómez, A.-M. (2023), "Regulating informal housing for the Syrian reconstruction. Between urban renewal and upgrading", Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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