Pathways for resilience to climate change in African cities

Buyana Kareem, Shuaib Lwasa, Denis Tugume, Paul Mukwaya, Jacqueline Walubwa, Samuel Owuor, Peter Kasaija, Hakimu Sseviiri, Gloria Nsangi, Disan Byarugaba

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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African cities are largely less-built with agile informal settlements and multiple ecologies that harbor different pathways for resilience to climate change. We undertook a qualitative systematic review of academic and policy evidence, to address the question of what interventions are emerging at neigbourhood to city scale to enhance resilience to climate change in Africa. Resilience at neigbourhood scale often stems from harnessing the local resource base and technologies for urban agriculture and forestry; alternative energy from wastes; grassed drainages for protection against erosion; recreation along dry riverbeds; fog-water harvesting; and adjustments in irrigation schedules. At city scale, planning is targeted at buildings, mobility and energy service delivery as the objects to be made resilient. The review established that evidence on comparisons across regions is mainly on East, West and South African cities, and much less on cities in Northern and Central Africa. Ecological comparisons are majorly on coastal and inland cities, with minimal representation of semi-arid and mountainous cities. Resilience efforts in capital cities are the most dominant in the literature, with less emphasis on secondary cities and towns, which is necessary for a deeper understanding of the role played by inter-municipal and inter-metropolitan collaborations. African cities can bring context-sensitivity to global debates on climate resilience, if theoretical perspectives are generated from emerging interventions across case studies. We conclude with suggestions on what future research needs to take on, if evidence on resilience to climate change in African cities is to be strengthened.

Original languageEnglish
Article number073002
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

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© 2020 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.


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