Because of its historical antecedents, the bulk of land available for conversion from rural to urban uses in Enugu, Nigeria, is held by indigenous landowning communities. Customary tenure and land management practices have persisted in these communities at the same time as a market in land has developed. As urban growth pressures have mounted, the need for effective institutional structures to guide urban land management has become more pronounced. It is in this context that this paper analyses the roles of government and customary groups in delivering land for urban development. It finds that a close relationship has existed from an early stage between formal and informal land delivery and management processes in the city. These integrative strategies have blossomed over time into a functional interface characterised by mutual adaptation and accommodation. This interface gives some insight into what a pragmatic, innovative and effective approach to land administration might look like, not just in Enugu but also in other Nigerian urban centres.
International Development Planning Review (2006) 28, (2) 137-158 [doi:10.3828/idpr.28.2.2]