Green infrastructure in South African cities

Urban green infrastructure plays a vital role in providing ecosystem services to cities. These services benefit urban residents directly but are also key to cities’ adaptation and mitigation strategies, given the increase of climate change-related risks within cities. It is therefore critical for local governments to consider green infrastructure solutions, especially ones that can cater to the urgent need for housing and development while still preserving functioning ecosystems in the urban landscapes. This report, by Lorena Pasquini and Johan P. Enqvist, examines the barriers and enablers to the implementation of green infrastructure, specifically focusing on the issue of temperature regulation in South African cities. Drawing on published literature and case studies from three metropolitan municipalities – Mangaung, City of Cape Town, and City of Johannesburg – the report aims to help fill an important policy and practice gap, and provide direction for cities to consider the issue of temperature regulation proactively.