Cape Town explored

The use of a UPE lens has provided great insights to discuss challenges facing Cape Town. For example, the concept of metabolism has exposed the flow of services such as water and sanitation and the lack of material infrastructure in certain communities has demonstrated the influence of the past political structures whom influence today. The water crisis acts as a lesson for the rest of the world of how physical factors such as an El Nino, increased by climate change and human factors such as spatial inequality can affect the provision of basic amenities.

Furthermore, Day Zero exposed multiple challenges that the city faces. Cape Town has shed insight into the importance of raising public awareness, long term planning and the value of amenities such as water. The flow of water affects the distribution of food and sanitation which this blog has discussed is vital to address. Water conservation campaigns, media campaigns and technology such as desalination plants all help ameliorate water scarcity but governments commitment to policies to ensure water efficiency are vital in an increasing urbanised world.

As part of London Climate Action Week in 2019, the Resilience Shift focused on lessons learnt from Cape Town, shown in the video below.

Figure 1, Day Zero lessons. Source: Resilience Shift

The next phase of Cape Town’s future involves progressing past the racially and economically divided settlements by incorporating and empowering residents and working together to provide longterm resilience to climate change and resource management.

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