Towards applying a green infrastructure approach in the Gauteng City-Region

Culwick, Christina
Khanyile, Samkelisiwe
Bobbins, Kerry
Dunsmore, Stuart
Fitchett, Anne
Monama, Lerato
Naidu, Raishan
Sykes, Gillian
van den Bussche, Jennifer
Vieira, Marco
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Gauteng City-Region Observatory
The Gauteng City-Region (GCR) regularly experiences heatwaves, raising renewed concerns over water security, as well as heavy and persistent rains, leading to severe flooding in some areas. In this context of heightened climate variability, thinking about ways to redesign our urban areas with more sustainable infrastructure solutions is becoming more and more important. Green infrastructure (GI) is emerging as an alternative approach to traditional (‘grey’) infrastructure in urban planning and development. Its emergence can be understood in terms of the growing demand for infrastructure and services, increased concerns over natural resource constraints and climate change, and the negative impacts associated with traditional approaches to designing and building cities. It has been proposed that GI can provide the same services as traditional infrastructure at a similar capital cost, while also providing a range of additional benefits. However, despite greater policy interest in green infrastructure in recent years, traditional infrastructure solutions to urban problems continue to dominate. This is partly due to the lack of a systematic evidence base to support GI implementation. There have been calls from decision-makers for more concrete examples of the benefits of successful urban GI applications, as well as for practical guidelines on their implementation. Towards applying a green infrastructure approach in the Gauteng City-Region is the GCRO’s eleventh Research Report. This report builds on the findings of two previous green infrastructure reports, as well as a CityLab process run with academics and government officials between 2014 and 2016. These outputs and the CityLab discussions highlighted as critical the need to for a deeper evidence base in building support for, and enhancing investment in, the GI approach. Unlike the earlier studies which were more theoretically grounded and policy oriented, this report comprises a number of technical investigations that more practically reflect on how a GI approach could be incorporated into urban planning in the GCR, and in other similar urban contexts.
This is GCRO's third major Research Report on green infrastructure. It builds on the previous two studies by providing detailed practical case studies of how green infrastructure could be applied to solve sustainability and urban infrastructure challenges facing different settlement types in the Gauteng City-Region (GCR)
green, infrastructure, sustainability, urban, environment, stormwater, climate change, Gauteng City-Region
Culwick, C. and Khanyile, S. (eds) (2019). Towards applying a green infrastructure approach in the Gauteng City-Region. GCRO Research Report 11, December 2019.