Sustainable Cities 2008

This is the second Sustainable Cities Annual published by the South African Cities Network. It is a collection of positive stories and constructive opinions on how cities in South Africa are responding to the big question of how we can live urban lives that do less damage to the planet.

The year 2007/08 has been a significant one for South African cities as a national energy crisis resulted in severe power shortages that impacted business, industry and households, highlighting the imperative of alternative energy options and energy-saving strategies. After a decade of democratic local governance, infrastructure development and service delivery remain the primary responsibility of cities. In the context of ongoing urbanisation and under increasing pressure to address apartheid-era backlogs, cities must redesign institutional models to increase delivery rates and ensure long-term sustainability. Cities must also take on the role of stewardship of the natural environment that we look to for the extensive resources we require for development. The biodiversity that is the essence of our natural ecosystems must be preserved and protected.