Reliance supports local carbon market while composting Cape Town’s green waste

Not everybody knows this, but under South Africa’s National Environmental Management: Waste Act (59 of 2008) all solid waste that leaves private property or is placed in a wheely-bin provided by the local municipality, belongs to the State. This is largely a matter of convenience as it allows local governments to plan and provide definitive […]

What we want and what we don’t: forging an urban nature that works for everyone

(First published by The Nature of Cities, Feb 13, 2013). It’s 11 o’clock on a Saturday night and my husband and I have just returned home from a dinner party. Driving home we encountered Chital deer (Axis axis) grazing outside the Table Mountain National Park boundary and right on the verge of a busy highway. […]

Climate change and Cape Town’s future

Climate change is reshaping our understanding of development pathways, bringing into stark relief how development choices impact us unequally and often in unintended or unforeseen ways as mediated through the environment or earth system. As these impacts and feedback loops become more apparent and better understood, there is growing need to reconfigure the ways we […]

World’s only game reserve within a major city is threatened with extinction

Republished from Informal City Dialogues From a grassy hilltop near the southern end of Nairobi National Park, tourists can look south over the Athi River Plain, a vast swath of savannah that once stretched uninhibited from Nairobi to the border with Tanzania. But today, their view is blocked by a row of cement factories and […]

Green, lush and carefully tended: Nairobi’s famous nurseries are losing ground

As Nairobi widens roads and erects new apartment buildings, its famous nurseries, which operate on public land, are threatened. Jason Patinkin. “If I may ask,” the flower vender interrupts, “when did you last see a frog in Nairobi?” I pause. This is a question I have never been asked before. “You’ve never seen one,” he […]

Climate Data & Analysis in Ethiopia

It is now possible for anyone to easily access very fine-grained climate information for Ethiopia, pertaining to temperature and rainfall over the last 30 years, via a set of online maps. “The information could be used in a number of applications, including long term investment and developmental studies, tourist information, disaster reduction and preparedness planning and […]

Greening the Economy: Building the Skills Base for a Sustainable Transition

After a great deal of re-thinking the growth trajectory of the South African economy, the government announced its intention to significantly green the developmental state, mainly through interventions in the energy sector. Yet the meaning of ‘greening’ must be established before any reasonably coherent discussion can be held on the subject, for it means different […]

Cleaning industrial production in West African cities

Some interesting news on the urban sustainability in Africa front. The city of Tema, a sprawling, bustling and gritty hub of industrial activity on the Ghanaian coast, is now host to a National Centre of Excellence for Cleaner Production. With support from UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the Centre has been established to serve Ghana […]

A community-based strategy for tackling climate change in the city

Nottingham in the UK has just released their climate change strategy for 2012-2020. While many cities have started developing such plans what seems to be quite unique about the Nottingham one is that is goes right down to the ward level within the city, the smallest unit of administration that is closest to the individual […]

Cities committing politically to act on climate change

The Conference of Parties (COP) is a meeting of the countries that have signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, a forum in which representatives of nation states / countries partake in international negotiations on what to do about climate change. Initially local and sub-national governments were completely absent from these international negotiations, but […]