In a statement released this week the City of Joburg says climate change is anticipated to increase the population migration into Johannesburg, as people face natural resource scarcity and the collapse of agricultural livelihoods due to rising temperatures and extreme weather conditions.
“A projected increase in the City of Johannesburg’s (CoJ) population, not purely as a result of population growth, will put additional strain on the city’s infrastructure and resources. Considering that climate conditions are becoming more unpredictable in future, Joburg’s strategies in adapting to climate change, take cognisance of scarce natural resources and impacts on human settlements.”
The City is planning to build more integrated and liveable communities through “Corridors of Freedom” to redress the apartheid spatial planning, address the rising population, to address poverty, inequality, social exclusion and underdevelopment, the statement said. Through these “Corridors of Freedom” the City’s leadership hopes to stitch the City together to create a new urban future, the statement added.
“As the City gears up to host the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group Mayors Summit on 4 to 6 February, it further recognises the need to be more resource efficient and smarter in the way it will deliver these services whilst reducing the carbon footprint with sustainable green practices, technologies and efficiencies. These communities will have access to green transportation through the Rea Vaya BRT, energy efficient buildings including solar geysers, insulated ceilings and energy saving light bulbs. The ‘complete streets’ concept will be implemented, which encourages eco-mobility (pedestrian lanes and cycling lanes) as well as landscaped sidewalks, green parks and green spaces.
“The City has already insulated ceilings, and installed compact fluorescent lamps and solar water heaters for low-income households. In Cosmo City it installed 940 solar water heaters and 26 850 in other low-income areas. Rain harvesting tanks were installed in various areas with community green education and awareness campaigns such as tree planting.”
Joburg Mayor Parks Tau says: “The choices we make today will determine the future of our city, our country and our planet. That’s why the City is working towards building sustainable communities that are climate-proofed, and have access to basic services and economic opportunities.”
He adds that these goals are embodied in the Joburg GDS 2040 Strategy which aims to create a city that is resilient, sustainable and liveable, where all citizens have access to electricity, clean water, sanitation, food, fresh air, education, health and meaningful employment.
“To manage climate change, Joburg aims to strengthen the adaptive capacity of the City and its citizens, to become more resilient to potential and unpredictable future climatic conditions the city may face,” he says.
The City of Johannesburg urges communities to start adapting their choices to help reduce climate change. These could include gearing up homes to be green, by installing solar geysers and energy efficient light bulbs; buying more locally grown food, or growing food gardens with organically produced vegetables and selling to those in the community nearby.
Buying locally-grown food not only helps improve local economies, it also saves significant amounts of energy and is usually much fresher.
Separating waste at source and recycling waste as as it reduces energy usage and keeps excess waste out of municipal landfills, and by adapting new behaviour communities can collectively respond to climate change in a positive way.