New Book: ‘Climate Change at the City Scale: Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation in Cape Town’

Description: Emerging from the inability, at COP15 (Copenhagen), of nation states and multi- national agencies to agree on a long-term commitment to tackling climate change and managing its consequences, there has been a renewed focus on local and self-styled responses to the challenges. These responses are being formulated in the absence of peer reviewed published reference material. The city-scale has been neglected in the climate change literature, not least because nation states are seen as the drivers of climate negotiations and because the bulk of the academic literature has been on agriculture and rural impacts of climate change. But cities are likely to bear some of the greatest costs of climate change and are critical sites of innovation. The book focuses on the city-scale and explores the role of sub-national government as an agent of action.

The chapters of the book draw from research that was commissioned from specialists under a partnership known as the ‘Cape Town Climate Change Think Tank’. Cape Town has long been acknowledged as an innovator in the area of urban environmental management. Few Southern cities have been as proactive or as successful as Cape Town in putting issues of global environmental change at the core of their governance philosophy and practice. As a highly unequal coastal city with limited resources to manage the demand for a more resilient and equitable future, the Cape Town response to climate change challenges presents an especially provocative case study of the challenges of urban transformation in the context of climate change.

Full Citation: Cartwright, A., Oelofse, G., Parnell, S., Ward, S. (eds.) (2012). Climate Change at the City Scale: Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation in Cape Town. Routledge: Oxon.

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