Analysing Cities Climate Change Resilience to Food Security, Transport and Water

This is a summary version of the synthesis report for a South African Cities Network (SACN) study on analysing cities’ climate change resilience of food security, transportation and water provision. The project focused on case studies conducted at three municipalities namely: the City of Johannesburg (CoJ), Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM) and Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM). This study links climate change issues at a municipal level to the daily operations of the cities with regards to service delivery and achieving the goals set out in these cities’ planning documents.


The synthesis report provides a strategic overview of the project and method followed, as well as key summarised findings from the workshops’ analysis and findings in the various city reports. The study effectively contextualises the ‘what happens’, ‘how does it happen’ and ‘what it means’ questions around climate change. These questions are raised within the urban context of cities and the related municipal roles and functions through examining and defining city resilience.


A number of definitions were perused in this study pertaining to resilience in order to provide a holistic and clear notion as to what resilience really means on a strategic and operational level and how cities should adequately plan for resilience. Ultimately, the following components were identified as critical to city resilience: information; risk, vulnerability analysis and integration; as well as ongoing learning and capacity building. Climate change is not just an environmental issue and more importantly it is not an issue that should be addressed in isolation. The varying parameters in which planning for impacts of climate change should occur could cut across all sectors and ultimately culminate in direct impacts on the city’s ability to sustainably deliver services.