As cities and towns in developing countries grow at unprecedented rates and set the social, political, cultural and environmental trends of the world, one of the most pressing challenges for the global community in the twenty-first century is sustainable urbanization. In 1950, one third of the world’s population lived in cities. Just 50 years later, this proportion had risen to one-half and will continue to grow to two-thirds, or six billion people, by 2050. Cities are the world’s economic, cultural and social powerhouses, yet they also create many challenges, including population pressures and poverty. In many cities, especially those in developing countries, slum dwellers account for more than 50 per cent of the population and have little or no access to adequate shelter, water and sanitation. In most cities, the practices of eviction, acquisition and expropriation – most often with no or inadequate consultation and compensation – are common and too rarely challenged. As we drive forward our efforts to achieve sustainable urban development, it is important to better understand the concepts and practices related to evictions, acquisition, expropriation and compensation so that – ultimately – the processes of urbanization are fair for everyone. In the context of urban development-induced displacement, this working paper discusses the delicate matter of practices related mainly to evictions, with some references to acquisition and expropriation. One or more of these practices have been employed in each of the paper’s ten case studies in which, with or without adequate consultation and compensation, the difficulties in disentangling the concepts of eviction, acquisition and expropriation, and contextualizing their relationship are recognized. The case studies described here clearly demonstrate the variety of immediate causes of evictions depending on context and environment. For example, the inner city regeneration in Johannesburg, South Africa, and capital city expansion in Abuja, Nigeria, are African examples that demonstrate how urban development has side-effects and consequences that affect the most vulnerable people in particular. Demolitions in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, to clear land for a flood canal, the relocation necessary to complete the Mumbai Urban Transport Project in India, and the urban regeneration and expansion in Shanghai, China, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, all exemplify how urban development in the name of the “public interest” or “greater common good” often affects the most vulnerable people disproportionately. Strategies to resist evictions are often employed at the grassroots level, as the case study from the Philippines demonstrates. Evictions may be avoided through meaningful stakeholder participation, as the Lunawa Lake Environment Improvement and Community Development Project in Sri Lanka shows. The Latin American case study on the expropriation of apartment buildings in Caracas, Venezuela, shows the global nature and scope of these practices. Many of the case studies also illustrate the way in which domestic laws have been applied to enforce an eviction, but also how international laws, policies and guidelines governing compensation or the manner in which evictions have been carried out have not been applied, or have been in part only. In Abuja, Nigeria, for example, evictees in that case were not given sufficient notice, evictions were carried out during bad weather, compensation was not according to market values and alternatives to evictions were not explored. 4 Sri Lanka, on the other hand, has incorporated various internationally accepted resettlement safeguards and principles into their evictions policies, although there are still problems with lengthy land surveys, acquisition and valuation procedures to determine compensation, and local politicians who appear to discourage community participation in the resettlement process. The cases also highlight differences in each country’s approach to the human rights of people who are evicted, as well as a range in the level of violence used to carry out an eviction. China’s resettlement policy, for example, is cited by the World Bank as a model for other countries, whereas an eviction described in Cambodia was particularly violent and left five women injured, 13 men badly hurt, valuables confiscated and homes burned. In all the cases, there are lessons to be learned. Community organizations, partnerships, compensation and protecting the vulnerable are among the many issues that crop up repeatedly in each case study and the manner in which these are dealt with can better inform city planners and others in their efforts to fairly and responsibly manage urbanization and urban development. This paper initially served as a background paper for an Expert Group Meeting in March 2010, prior to the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was presented at an Expert Group Meeting on Forced Evictions in September 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya. Following an extensive review process, the paper has been published with its revised title, “Evictions, Acquisition, Expropriation and Compensation: Practices and selected case studies” as a joint publication of UN-Habitat and the Global Land Tool Network.