The Green Book: Planning support tool for identifying and adapting South African settlements at risk to the impacts climate change

14:00 Tuesday 28 May

SS008 • OC044

Room S9


Alize Le Roux (South Africa) 1; Willemien Van Niekerk (South Africa) 1; Amy Pieterse (South Africa) 1

1 - Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa

It is estimated that a growing number of people in South African cities and towns will be exposed to the devastating impacts of weather induced natural hazards such as flooding, heat waves, droughts, coastal flooding, wildfires and storms. This growing exposure can be partly attributed to an urbanizing population, related land use practices and changes projected in the frequency and intensity of weather related natural hazards. Knowing what to adapt for and how to adapt for this change is of critical importance to decision makers involved in the design and planning of human settlements. The Green Book was therefore commissioned with the aim of supporting municipal planning on the development of climate-resilient cities and settlements through research in climate adaptation, ultimately facilitating the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into local government planning instruments.

The Green Book is an online planning support tool that provides quantitative scientific evidence on the likely impacts that climate change and urbanization will have on South Africa’s cities and towns. It does this through providing temporally dynamic risk profiles for each municipality that covers the socio-economic vulnerability of settlements and neighborhoods and its expected development trajectories. These profiles also covers the changes anticipated in the climate and the impacts of these changes on the intensity and magnitude of droughts, wildfires, flooding and coastal flooding and the likely impacts municipalities can expect on their key resources such as water availability (surface and groundwater) and agricultural production.

The paper will cover the Green Book methodology which was a novel attempt at multidisciplinary applied sciences that covered the research fields of climatology, demography, disaster risk sciences, geography, urban planning, economics, ecology, architecture, anthropology, hydrology and statistics. The paper will show a likely 2050 future highlighting settlements predicted to experience vast growth coupled with increases in natural weather related hazards. The purpose is to highlight settlements that needs to start thinking creatively about how adaptation actions can instinctively be woven into the design of these settlements in order to protect the lives of its occupants and ensure a sustainable resilient future.