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Adapting South African Settlements to the Impacts of Climate Change

For South Africa's burgeoning cities, climate change impacts - such as flooding, extreme weather, and heat waves - are expected to impose greater burdens on disadvantaged urban residents and municipal governments. This project will support the country's adaptation to climate change. Guidelines to assist with adaptation The project team will develop planning and design guidelines, known as the Green Book, to highlight climate risks and identify locally appropriate adaptation options for urban settlements. Currently, South Africa's Red Book provides general guidelines for developing sustainable and vibrant residential areas. It does not offer guidance on adapting urban settlements to the impacts of climate change. The Green Book will address this gap. Understanding risks, offering options Drawing on a strong base of existing research, the project team will: -review adaptation plans for South African cities with the goal of identifying case studies, gaps, and adaptation options -analyze downscaled climate projections, risk maps, and vulnerability assessments to produce hazard footprints for drought, flooding, and sea-level rise -develop a risk profile for different settlement types -identify appropriate adaptation options tailored to climate risk and urban settlement type These new guidelines will serve public and private sector planners and engineers. They will focus on adapting infrastructure and services in small- and medium-sized urban settlements to projected climate impacts, especially in the water sector. The research team will analyze the costs and benefits of adaptation options, together with gender implications, to further guide decision-making. Developing adaptation skills and knowledge The project will actively engage stakeholders and end-users to develop the guidelines. Students involved in the research will gain skills and knowledge. The project will also include training to support important actors, such as urban planning professionals, municipal authorities, engineers, and others in their efforts to: -apply the guidelines -influence adaptation policy and practice -improve the resilience of urban populations in South Africa

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Heidi Braun
Total Funding
CA$ 1,074,900.00
South Africa
Climate Change
Climate Change
Institution Country
South Africa
Project Leader
Willemien Van Niekerk
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research ZA