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Local government needs to lead in tackling challenges of extreme heat<div>‘It is incredibly important that local government, together with other private and public sector partners, lead from the front. This is to create a shared future where we ensure that the most vulnerable residents are protected and equipped to deal with the impacts of changing climate and the occurrence of extreme weather events. One thing is clear, without political will, we will not be able to achieve the critical interventions that are required. </div><div> </div><div>‘Local government should be at the forefront of every single advocacy agenda that we should advance for Cape Town’s shared future and we should do it through nature-based and sustainable solutions such as strategic urban greening. Longer-term planning, as well as short-term emergency interventions, are incredibly important especially as Cape Town passes the five million population mark. We will remain the fastest-growing city in South Africa due to our political stability, clear policies and competent administration. </div><div> </div><div>‘The Cape Town Heat Mapping conducted on a hot day on 28 February 2024 showed a range of temperatures but the highest ambient temperature of 41,6 degrees Celsius was recorded in the Woodstock area on that day. On a household level, how the high temperatures are experienced in low-income areas and areas of informality is typically very different to the middle to high-income areas where there is generally more vegetation and resources to respond to heat. Areas like the Cape Town CBD with great densification and a lot of concrete of course also sees high temperatures. While the focus of this particular exercise was on measuring heat in the public realm, it also last down the foundation for deeper engagements on heat risk and interventions, especially within structures, where risk and vulnerability are even more stark,’ said Alderman Andrews. <br></div><div><br></div><div><span> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Images%202/AldAndrews.jpg" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure>​​</span><strong>Why preparing for extreme heat is important </strong></div><div>Extreme heat and heat waves are described by the World Health Organisation as silent emergencies that are among the most dangerous of natural hazards, and yet it is a risk that is often discounted as being a normal part of summer in warm and hot climates. </div><div> </div><div>Climate change projections for Cape Town indicate that average temperatures, high heat days and heat waves are set to increase in length, frequency, and intensity. To address this significant risk the City’s High Heat Day and Heat Wave Action Plan (Heat Action Plan) was approved in November 2023. The City is leading in these plans and preparations. The development of a High Heat Day and Heatwave Action Plan for Cape Town is a direct deliverable action in the City’s Climate Change Action Plan and Resilience Strategy. <br></div><div><br></div><div><span> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Images%202/202.jpg" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:898px;" /> </figure>​</span><strong>Key heat focus areas </strong></div><div><ul><li>Heat readiness: to ensure effective preparation and planning to reduce the risk of heat events impacting on City service delivery or business continuity.</li><li>Heat response: to focus on responding to, and managing various impacts of heat and the risk to the public shortly before and during a heat wave or high heat day. </li><li> Heat related research, knowledge management and learning.<br></li></ul></div><div>‘Innovative data collection can equip city leaders with the knowledge to address the current and future impacts of extreme heat, while building citizen support for action. The ‘Cool Cities Living Lab Community Heat Mapping Campaigns’ demonstrate an established methodology to measure temperature differences across a city. The campaigns create actionable information about exposure to extreme heat and can inform the design of effective heat mitigation actions, such as tree planting, shading, cool buildings and early warning systems. Cities can use the resulting outputs to prioritise heat mitigation actions that target the most vulnerable populations,’ said Bradley Riley, Disaster and Climate Risk Specialist, World Bank. </div><div> </div><div><strong>World Bank Heat Mapping Project</strong></div><div><ul><li>The key partners and funders in the heat mapping campaign are the National Treasury Cities Support Programme, the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction. The implementation partner was CORC (local NGO) and CAPA Strategies was the technical partner providing sensor equipment and responsible for the data analysis.</li><li>The results from the heat mapping has produced detailed city-scale heat maps that can inform urban planning and emergency management decisions for improved resilience to future heat events. </li><li>30 volunteers from across vulnerable communities in Cape Town, were mobilized to take part in the mapping of heat and share their observations and experience of heat. This helped to sensitise the community around heat risks in order that they can take pro-active measures within their own environment.</li></ul></div><div><br></div><div>See: Story Map (https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/35fd2bf7e70c448ab0a58245d2f2cd0b?)</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Cape Town’s vulnerability to high heat days and heat waves</strong></div><div><ul><li>Locations most at risk to heat are dense urban areas (Cape Town CBD and other business districts), industrial areas (airport and other dense manufacturing zones), dense residential areas, informal settlements, and areas of densification around transport corridors. Lack of greening in some areas has a profound impact. </li><li>Cape Town’s workforce is at particular risk, specifically those working outdoors whose exposure to heat for long periods of time can have devastating health impacts and impact the ability to complete tasks and concentrate.</li></ul></div><div><br></div><div><strong>Other City interventions to address heat </strong></div><div>In addition to the Heat Action Plan, various City strategies, policies and programmes address long-term heat mitigation measures aimed at reducing the urban heat island effect through the implementation of green infrastructure-related projects or plans, or long-term heat adaptation measures in terms of green building design and implementation of urban design tools. These policies, strategies, plans and programmes, include the Urban Forest Policy, the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, the Green Infrastructure Programme and Network, the Biodiversity Network and Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, and projects related to the implementation of these strategy and policy tools. Heat mitigation is also integrated into the City’s Municipal Spatial Development Framework as a planning consideration.</div><div> <br></div><div><br></div><div><strong>End</strong></div><div><br><br></div><p><br></p>2024-06-12T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#874371a9-6e80-4c03-a231-436df55fcf2b;L0|#0874371a9-6e80-4c03-a231-436df55fcf2b|Heat wave;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#a2a19dde-97b6-4b25-a32f-72a953184e1b;L0|#0a2a19dde-97b6-4b25-a32f-72a953184e1b|environenmental damage;GP0|#71c9db20-0a33-4304-999c-b463f9530b0d;L0|#071c9db20-0a33-4304-999c-b463f9530b0d|Climate10

 

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