A recently published paper in PLoS One argues that GEC funded city to city learning exchanges carried out during phase one of the FRACTAL project, created an opportunity to share good practices for addressing the often common issues that arise from cities’ complexity and urban growth coupled with the additional stressor of climate variability. The southern African cities that participated were Harare, Windhoek, Lusaka and Durban, but the research team suggest that their learnings could be applied more widely in other southern African cities.
FRACTAL’s approach to learning is both experiential and structured, and involves multi-stakeholder engagements that encourage the building of trust and networks, which can then be leveraged when city level planning decisions need to be made. The city to city exchange visits developed a regional network and facilitate a flow of knowledge between southern African cities, which could help city level decision makers to consider successful approaches from beyond their borders.
Some key examples of transferable practices that came out of the group’s findings, included efficient water and waste management in Windhoek together with workable public-private partnerships, integrated climate planning in Durban that is helping biodiversity protection, and community engagements in Durban and Lusaka.
The full paper is available for download here.