Planning for Climate Change in African Cities
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assignment Level : Intermediate
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
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Key Information

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verified_user Fee-based Certificate
timer 21 hours in total

About the content

Climate change poses a threat to economic growth and long-term prosperity of many countries around the world. Africa is not an exception, considering the actual and potential impacts of climate change and climate variability that will threaten its vulnerable sectors and human populations. African countries are projected to experience changing rainfall patterns, rising sea levels, and higher temperatures that will affect food security, agricultural production, water availability, and public health, among others. These climate change impacts and climate variability can further produce social and political problems, such as rural-urban migration and water resource disputes. Furthermore, the low levels of development in many African countries, as well as limited institutional, infrastructural, and technical capacities to respond successfully to climate change impacts and climate variability, can exacerbate the situation. In terms of contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, although African countries are the lightest polluters, it has also become apparent that alternative energy sources can offset the increasing energy demand and dependence on biomass. Addressing climate change offers possibilities for low-carbon development. Moreover, there are promising mechanisms that can address both climate change actions and development goals simultaneously. At the city level, strengthening resilience, or the ability to respond to and absorb the effects of a hazardous event in a timely and efficient manner and to sustain this ability in the future, and adaptation; the process of adjusting to actual or expected climate change stimuli or their effects, should be at the forefront of planning. Local governments have an important role to play through the provision of adequate infrastructure, regulation of land use, and other public services that are crucial for urban resilience. Mobilizing local governments, in collaboration with national governments, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations, among others, is also critical for an integrated multi-sectoral approach to climate change. The Course on Planning for Climate Change in African Cities provides the foundation for understanding cities’ exposure and sensitivity to climate change, and how cities can manage these impacts in the face of growing uncertainty. It does so by introducing the basic concepts of urban resilience and adaptation, by using illustrative case studies in different African cities. Furthermore, this module provides lectures on the different approaches for climate change planning, whether ad hoc, strategic or mainstreaming; introduces the different steps in the planning cycle – from initial assessment to monitoring and evaluation; and presents the different decision support and assessment tools for prioritizing climate change actions. This course broadens the discussion on planning for climate change by engaging learners to apply their knowledge and practice their decision-making skills in a simulated exercise. In line with development that minimizes the harm caused by climate change impacts, while maximizing the many human development opportunities presented by a more resilient future, we ask: what are the connections between urban risk and vulnerability? How is climate change and urban resilience conceptualized and applied in practice? Which policies and measures should be introduced to address climate change? Finally, how to choose among different measures that address climate change adaptation, urban resilience, and other development objectives? Course Objectives: At the end of this course, learners should be able to: • Recognize the effects, impacts, and drivers of climate change in cities • Understand the drivers of urban risk and vulnerability in the context of climate change • Distinguish the typologies, approaches, and tensions of climate change adaptation • Explain the different approaches and steps in climate change planning • Examine the decision support and assessment tools for climate change • Develop a climate change plan based on participants’ city contexts

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Instructors

Prof. Andy Gouldson

School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds

Dr. Stelios Grafakos
Head of Urban Environment and Climate Change Group
Institute for Housing and Urban Studies (IHS), Erasmus University Rotterdam

Dr. Shuaib Lwasa
Associate Professor
Geography Geoinformatics and Climatic Sciences , Makerere University

Marcus Mayr
Associate Human Settlements Officer
Climate Change Planning Unit, UN-Habitat

Dr. David Dodman
Director of the Human Settlements Group
International Institute for Environment and Development

Dr. Nathalie Jean Baptiste

Team Leader Climate Change and Environmental Studies, Institute of Human Settlements Studies, Ardhi University

Veronica Olivotto
Expert, Climate Change Risk and Adaptation
Institute for Housing and Urban Studies (IHS), Erasmus University Rotterdam

Dr. Diana Reckien
Associate Professor
Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-Information Management, University of Twente

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Content Designer

Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus University: a top-100 ranked international research university based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Our academic teaching and research focuses on four areas: health, wealth, culture and governance. Erasmus University Rotterdam: make it happen.
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Coursera

Coursera is a digital company offering massive open online course founded by computer teachers Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller Stanford University, located in Mountain View, California. 

Coursera works with top universities and organizations to make some of their courses available online, and offers courses in many subjects, including: physics, engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing, data science, and other subjects.

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