Urban Resilience Thinking for Municipalities
This document was prepared as a contribution to the Department of Science and Technology’s (DST’s) Grand Challenge on Global Change. The DST’s three-year funded programme at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) was titled 'Urban Resilience Assessment for Sustainable Urban Development’ and was developed with the specific intention of giving support to local government in South Africa. This was done with the recognition that municipalities have a potentially vital role in proactively managing processes of change.
This report offers municipalities and their officials a set of perspectives on urban resilience, and the possibilities and limitations of applying resilience theory. Although the focus of the report is on municipalities in South Africa, it is also applicable for rural contexts. The intention of this report is to stimulate “resilience thinking” rather than to offer a simple “guide for practice” and calls on municipalities to use ideas of urban resilience in a considered and critical way.
This report presents the theory of resilience and a series of structured discussions around the themes of adaptive governance, resilient urban form, infrastructure for resilience, ecological resilience and green economies for resilience.
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Linked to project(s):Green assets and infrastructure (2023)
Mobility in the Gauteng City-Region
Mobility in the Gauteng City-Region has been written in a remarkable moment in the history of transport development in Gauteng. On the one hand the region appears to be in a new ‘golden era’ of transit infrastructure design and investment, as well as long-term planning for ever-growing commuter transport needs.
On the other hand, the transport difficulties faced by the Gauteng City-Region’s (GCR) fast-growing population, as well as the many financial, spatial, social, economic and environmental challenges that flow from the region-wide architecture of this population’s daily commuting, appear to be growing ever more acute. It is, therefore, important to delineate the existing flows of traffic across the GCR; to understand the challenges of transport efficiency, access and affordability; and to gauge the impact of key transport interventions like the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link, the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Programme and associated e-tolling, and municipal Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) infrastructure.
The report is structured as follows: a summary of recent transport infrastructure projects and key transport challenges are described in Chapter 1 written by Graeme Gotz and Chris Wray. The second and third chapters, by Prof Christo Venter and Willem Badenhorst, provide an in depth analysis of the 2011 Quality of Life survey transport questions, including the generation of a Quality of Transport Index. In Chapter 4, GCRO researcher Guy Trangoš provides a multi-scalar analysis of the public space design around four existing Gautrain stations – valuable research to be considered by authorities should the proposed extensions to the Gautrain go ahead. An often ignored but, from a sustainability perspective, an increasingly important aspect of transport is non-motorised transport (NMT). The report concludes with two NMT chapters by GCRO researcher Christina Culwick, exploring the state of NMT in the GCR and portraying the challenges and potential opportunities for the future of NMT in the city-region.
It is not within the scope of a report such as this to review every strategic intervention, nor critically assess every challenge. However, a wide-ranging analysis of the current ‘state of mobility’ in the GCR, and the impact of key infrastructures – or the consequences of their absence – is warranted. Within the frame of the enormous scale of transport planning and infrastructure development underway, as well as the GCR’s many deep and enduring transport challenges, it is hoped that this report will make a contribution to understanding past and current trends, the impact of and (missed) opportunities in key infrastructure investments, and some of the key current priorities that need more attention in this new ‘golden age’ of transport planning.
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