Mogadishu is a fragile city, dealing with the legacy of decades of civil war within a political context characterised by unstable elite bargains and an incomplete constitutional transition. These legacies are felt most keenly in ongoing insecurity and violence, the almost complete absence of the state from the provision of basic services, hybrid forms of governance, and land conflicts rooted in a history of clan competition, forced appropriations and fraudulent transactions. Access to livelihoods, housing and services is mediated through clan networks, leaving minority groups, women and displaced people at a significant disadvantage. While a real estate boom financed by diaspora investment and returning refugees continues, ongoing large-scale evictions of informal settlements inhabited by internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the urban poor are driving unplanned and unserviced expansions on the city’s peripheries. The intimate connection between control over land with the local and national political settlement renders any attempt to address urban poverty and inequality extremely sensitive and challenging.