Climate information for building resilient South African cities

For cities to develop in ways that are sustainable, climate resilient and equitable, considerations of climate variability and change must factor into planning, investment and management decisions. To do so requires robust, actionable climate information. In addition to having such information, capacities and mechanisms are needed to factor it into complex technical and political urban decision-making processes. This paper, by Anna Taylor, focuses on how climate information is brought to bear on key city development and urban management decisions in South African metropolitan municipalities and suggests how this can be further strengthened. Drawing on published literature and case studies from the City of Cape Town, eThekwini and Mangaung Metropolitan Municipalities, the paper highlights the diversity of types, sources and applications of climate information. It calls for a strong focus on sustainable knowledge partnerships to select and apply suitable metrics for measuring, enacting and learning about changes in cities and the climate.