Urban Resilience Thinking for Municipalities

Harrison, Philip
Bobbins, Kerry
Culwick, Christina
Humby, Tracy-Lynn
La Mantia, Costanza
Todes, Alison
Weakley, Dylan
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University of the Witwatersrand, Gauteng City-Region Observatory
This document was prepared as a contribution to the Department of Science and Technology’s (DST’s) Grand Challenge on Global Change and as a complement to flagship initiatives such as the South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas project (Archer, et al., 2010). The Global Change Grand Challenge is aimed at “supporting knowledge generation and technological innovation that will enable South Africa, Africa, and the world, to respond to global environmental change, including climate change” (Archer, et al., 2010, p. ii). While the Grand Challenge highlights the importance of science in supporting South Africa’s response to global change, it extends beyond a purely biophysical focus to acknowledge the importance of the social sciences. There is a clear understanding that the most compelling responses to global change will come through the combined efforts of the natural and social sciences. The DST therefore supports a number of research programmes across South Africa that draw on a wide range of scientific and academic fields in responding to specific challenges of global change across rural and urban –South Africa. One of the key thematic areas supported through the Grand Challenge is “urban resilience”. This is not at the expense of work on rural areas, as there are also a number of research programmes targeting rural South Africa, but it is recognition of both the threats posed by poorly managed urban areas and of the opportunities that towns and cities offer for greater resilience and sustainability.
Resilient Urban Systems, Sustainability and Resilience, Ecological Resilience; social-ecological systems;
Harrison, Philip et al. 2014. Urban Resilience Thinking for Municipalities. University of the Witwatersrand, Gauteng City-Region Observatory