Posted on April 10, 2013 by uctcriminologyenviro
Van Niekerk, W. (2013). Translating disaster resilience into spatial planning practice in South Africa: Challenges and champions. Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies. 5 (1): 1-6.
Abstract: It is highly likely that hazards and extreme climatic events will occur more frequently in the future and will become more severe – increasing the vulnerability and risk of millions of poor urbanites in developing countries. Disaster resilience aims to reduce disaster losses by equipping cities to withstand, absorb, adapt to or recover from external shocks. This paper questions whether disaster resilience is likely to be taken up in spatial planning practices in South Africa, given its immediate developmental priorities and challenges. In South Africa, issues of development take precedence over issues of sustainability, environmental management and disaster reduction. This is illustrated by the priority given to ‘servicing’ settlements compared to the opportunities offered by ‘transforming’ spaces through post-apartheid spatial planning. The City of Durban’s quest in adapting to climate change demonstrates hypothetically that if disaster resilience were to be presented as an issue distinct from what urban planners are already doing, then planners would see it as insignificant as compared to addressing the many developmental backlogs and challenges. If, however, it is regarded as a means to secure a city’s development path whilst simultaneously addressing sustainability, then disaster resilience is more likely to be translated into spatial planning practices in South Africa.
Available for download with subscription here.
Filed under: Adaptation, Climate Change, Development, Natural Hazards, Planning, Risk management, South Africa, Sustainability, Vulnerability | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 26, 2013 by uctcriminologyenviro
Meyer, R. (2013). Epistemic Institutions and Epistemic Cooperation in International Environmental Governance. Transnational Environmental Law. DOI: 10.1017/S2047102513000010
Abstract: Under what conditions should epistemic institutions (institutions that provide policy-relevant scientific advice) be integrated into international legal institutions – for example, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change? Following work in law and economics on the theory of the firm, this article argues that where states will not implement environmental policies absent a collective decision to do so, greater hierarchical control of epistemic institutions by legal institutions may be necessary to ensure the credibility and availability of a usable scientific record. Hierarchy creates credibility because it allows all states necessary for cooperation in the legal institution to oversee the production of the scientific record that provides the basis for international legal rules. Hierarchy thus enhances the effectiveness of international law as a coordination tool, even at the expense of the autonomy of the scientific process. By contrast, where collective action is not necessary because states will unilaterally regulate an environmental problem once scientific uncertainty has been reduced, epistemic and legal institutions should be fragmented to ensure the unbiased production and dissemination of scientific information. In such situations, the credibility of the scientific record is demonstrated by decentralized adoption of science-based regulation.
Available for download with subscription here.
Filed under: Climate Change, Environmental Governance, Governance, Legislation, Municipalities, Planning | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 23, 2011 by suzall
Summary: This document presents the high-level findings from a conceptual exploratory study that considered the design of a Low Carbon Action Plan (LCAP) for South Africa, setting out the thinking of how to go about low-carbon economy planning and implementation. While developed specifically for the South African context, the approach explores a methodology which could be adopted in whole or in part by low-carbon economy planners throughout the developing world. As well as outlining the core elements of the LCAP, this document highlights some of the challenges and opportunities this process presents.
Filed under: Adaptation, Climate Change, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Mitigation, Planning, South Africa | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 17, 2011 by suzall
Abstract: Municipal planning represents a key avenue for local adaptation, but is subject to recognised constraints. To date, these constraints have focused on simplistic factors such as limited resources and lack of information. In this paper we argue that this focus has obscured a wider set of constraints which need to be acknowledged and addressed if adaptation is likely to advance through municipal planning. Although these recognised constraints are relevant, we argue that what underpins these issues are more fundamental challenges affecting local, placed-based planning by drawing on the related field of community-based environmental planning (CBEP). In considering a wider set of constraints to practical attempts towards adaptation, the paper considers planning based on a case study of three municipalities in Sydney, Australia in 2008. The results demonstrate that climate adaptation was widely accepted as an important issue for planning conducted by local governments. However, it was yet to be embedded in planning practice which retained a strong mitigation bias in relation to climate change. In considering the case study, we draw attention to factors thus far under-acknowledged in the climate adaptation literature. These include leadership, institutional context and competing planning agendas. These factors can serve as constraints or enabling mechanisms for achieving climate adaptation depending upon how they are exploited in any given situation. The paper concludes that, through addressing these issues, local, place-based planning can play a greater role in achieving climate adaptation.
Full Citation: Measham, T.G., Preston, B.L., Smith, T.F., Brooke, C., Goddard, R., Withycombe, G., Morrison, C. (2011). Adapting to climate change through local municipal planning: barriers and challenges, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 1-21, DOI 10.1007/s11027-011-9301-2.
Filed under: Adaptation, Climate Change, International, Planning | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 29, 2011 by suzall
Planners and others continue to explore how the world’s cities will be
affected by climate change in the coming decades, and this 62-page report
released by the United Nation’s Human Settlement Programme takes a close
look at the subject. This abridged version of the full report argues, “local
action is indispensable for the realization of national climate change
commitments agreed through international negotiations.” Visitors will find
that the report is divided into six chapters, including “Urbanization and
the Challenge of Climate Changes” and “The Impacts of Climate Change on
Urban Areas”. The report draws on a wide range of scholarly data taken from
UN reports, along with others working in the field of climate change and
Filed under: Climate Change, Housing, International, Planning | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 2, 2010 by suzall
The State of the African Cities 2010 goes above and beyond the first report, which provided a general overview of housing and urban management issues in Africa. With the subtitle: Governance, inequity and urban land markets, the report uncovers critical urban issues and challenges in African cities, using social and urban geography as the overall entry points. While examining poverty, slum incidence and governance, the report sheds more light on inequity in African cities, and in this respect follows the main theme of the global State of the World’s Cities 2010 report. Through a regional analysis, the report delves deeper into the main urban challenges facing African cities, while provoking dialogue and discussion on the role of African cities in improving national, regional and local economies through sustainable and equitable development. The report has been drafted in cooperation with Urban Land Mark. Through an analytical survey of several African cities, the report examines urban growth, social conditions in slums, environmental and energy issues and, especially, the role of urban land markets in accessing land and housing.
Filed under: Africa, Developing Countries, Environment, Formal Economies, Governance, Housing, Planning, Vulnerability | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 2, 2010 by suzall
Engineering News, 2 August 2010
The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is looking to identify potential projects that could contribute to ‘green growth’ in South Africa, and has invited industry to submit expressions of interest.
This is in response to the Green Economy Summit, which was held in May, where government, business, civil society and nongovernmental organisations committed to ensuring that South Africa moved towards a resource efficient, low carbon and proemployment growth path.
Filed under: Climate Change, Planning, South Africa | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 23, 2010 by suzall
On 18 June 2010 the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms. Buyelwa Patience Sonjica, published in Government Gazette 33306 Notice Number 543 the regulations pertaining to environmental impact assessments under sections 24(5), 24M and 44 of NEMA. These regulations and the Listing Notices mentioned below will take effect on a date to be determined by the Minister by Notice in the Gazette.
Filed under: Legislation, Planning, South Africa | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 7, 2010 by suzall
Abstract: Mumbai and other Indian cities are rapidly transforming to address the needs of global commerce and the expanding middle class. Mumbai’s vernacular environments, home to most working-class residents, are consequently being redeveloped using supermodern global aesthetics. The urbanism emerging from the current wave of modernism is an unprecedented radical departure from existing patterns of place. Proponents claim the new developments serve low-income residents’ interests, when actually they ignore fundamental socio-cultural and economic realities. This paper considers two case studies, Dharavi and Girangaon, highlighting a subset of Mumbai’s vernacular environments to argue for their significance and to explore alternative redevelopment approaches
Full Citation: Chalana, M. (2010). Slum Dog vs Millionaire: Balancing urban informality and global modernity in Mumbaim India, Journal of Architectural Education, Vol. 63 (2): 25-37 (Available with subscription at: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/123335737/PDFSTART).
Filed under: Informal Economies, Planning | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 3, 2010 by suzall
Second round of Bonn UN Climate Change Talks in 2010 designed to pave way for full implementation of climate change action across the globe – A fresh round of UN Climate Change talks kicked off on Monday with representatives from 182 governments meeting in Bonn to take forward work from last year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP 15). The talks are designed to pick up on issues that were not resolved in Copenhagen and to pave the way for the full implementation of climate change action across the globe.
“The Copenhagen meeting may have postponed an outcome for at least a year, but it did not postpone the impacts of climate change,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer. “The deadline to agree an effective international response to climate change at Copenhagen was set because governments, when launching negotiations in Bali in 2007, recognised the scientific warning on climate for what it was: a siren call to act now, or face the worst,” he added.
Filed under: Climate Change, Environment, International, Planning | Leave a Comment »