ProSus #3: Building resilience in southern African cities

Submitted by Marina Monzeglio | published 29th Nov 2019 | last updated 10th Jan 2020
ProSus Magazine cover

Photo: Julia Cumes

Summary

The third issue of START’s ProSus Magazine features reflections, research and stories from the Future Resilience for African Cities and Lands (FRACTAL) program.

Departing from the conventional way that climate information is produced and disseminated, FRACTAL strongly emphasized knowledge co-production that integrated science with decision-making in nine southern African cities. 

The articles featured in this ProSus magazine demonstrate FRACTAL’s novel philosophy and approach. The stories from cities and partners provide concrete examples of how FRACTAL has advanced understanding of, and engagement around, climate risks in urban areas. The relationships forged through FRACTAL are an enduring legacy of this effort.

Published twice a year, ProSus explores ideas and solutions for a more sustainable future. It showcases the voices of researchers, practitioners and thinkers, and perspectives that build bridges between science and society, between local and global realities.

In this issue

Perspectives 

  • Shifting the way cities address climate issues, by Alice McClure
  • A new way to do climate science, With Chris Jack
  • Innovative approaches to bridge science and policy, With Anna Taylor
  • Unpacking receptivity as a key for impact, With Dianne Scott

City Highlights

  • The other “Day Zero”: Shining light on water scarcity in the city of Windhoek, With Prof. John K.E. Mfune
  • A learning journey: Water, energy and governance in Harare, With Chipo Plaxedes Mubaya
  • Teamwork, tools and technology: Advancing solutions to cholera and malaria outbreaks in Maputo, With Genito Maure
  • Pioneering new approaches to tackle urban flooding in Lusaka, With Gilbert Siame

Methods and Approaches

  • Connecting cities with national level actors to scale up climate action, By ICLEI Africa
  • The bridge between science and practice: Insights from FRACTAL embedded research approach, With Anna Taylor
  • Learning across borders: City exchanges to increase resilience, forward thinking and improved urban planning across southern African cities, With Lulu van Rooyen, Kornelia Iipinge, Chipo Plaxedes Mubaya, Gilbert Siame and Wilma Nchito
  • Challenging perspectives, inspiring learning: Master’s students reflect on their experience, With Rudo Mamombe, Peter Mulambia and Dorothy Ndhlovu
  • A tale of two cities: Unpacking decision-making pathways in Blantyre and Harare, By Rudo Mamombe and Tawina Mlowa
  • The talk of the town: Climate Risk Narratives spark conversation around possible futures and how to deal with climate uncertainty, Graphics by ICLEI Africa in collaboration with CSAG

From page 34 of Prosus #3: Climate Risk Narratives are essentially stories incorporating a range of plausible climate futures

Introduction by START International

Since its inception in 2015, the Future Resilience for African Cities and Lands (FRACTAL) program did things differently. “Business unusual” is a recurrent theme in this issue of ProSus Magazine.

Departing from the conventional way that climate information is produced and disseminated, FRACTAL strongly emphasized knowledge co-production that integrated science with decision- making to produce relevant and actionable climate information in the context of water and energy security. The effort spanned nine cities in southern Africa.

From the outset of the FRACTAL project, researchers from different disciplines, city officials and representatives from the water, energy and health sectors worked together to identify “burning issues” in their cities, and iteratively engaged to co-develop solutions to build resilience to these issues.

The articles featured in this magazine demonstrate FRACTAL’s novel philosophy and approach. The stories from cities and partners provide concrete examples of how FRACTAL has advanced understanding of, and engagement around, climate risks in urban areas. The relationships forged through FRACTAL are an enduring legacy of this effort.

At START we are proud to have been a part of this effort. Our sincere thanks to the UK’s Department for International Development and the Natural Environment Research Council, which funded the project, as well as to all partners involved, especially the city teams and the Climate System Analysis Group of the University of Cape Town who led the project.


Flooded street in New Kanyama, Lusaka, Zambia. Photo: WSTF Kenya