Cities and Sustainability: Johannesburg, South Africa
Report for the Johannesburg City Government on Sustainability through reducing carbon emissions Introduction:
The purpose of this report is to advise the Johannesburg City Government on ways to reduce carbon emissions within the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. Johannesburg City (Joburg) is listed as a participant with the C40 Cities initiative, in an effort to tackle the environmental issues of global warming and climate change. This initiative was established as a leadership programme from representatives from major cities around the world, and aims to be at the forefront in encouraging sustainable practices in our urban areas (c40cities online, 2011). It is important then to clearly define what sustainability is. From information provided in the Open University course material, a sustainable city is an urban environment in which it's inhabitants lead fulfilling lives and are able to meet their material and social needs without damaging the environment it co-exists with (The Open University, Block 6, 2010. p 22-23). Further to this a sustainable city should have a long-term perspective which allows it to produce it's own resources. With this being said, Joburg finds itself faced with many, unnecessarily high, carbon producing activities such as a high volume of personal cars users and obtaining energy from older technologies and non-renewable sources just to name a few. These practices are typical of major cities across the planet and represent the unsustainable development of human activities without regard for the environment we live in. Taking action to promote sustainability, like the C40 Cities initiative, is the reason why this report has been drafted for Joburg. In particular this report will focus on carbon emissions, their sources within the Joburg boundaries and effect on global warming, and then present ways in which to combat the currently inadequate carbon producing activities that Joburg is experiencing. Finally the report will conclude with a summary of the key points discussed in the making the case and the proposal sections. Recommendations on the information presented will be put forward which is in alignment with the purpose of this report: sustainability through reducing carbon emissions.
Making The Case:
Joburg has an important role in making itself a sustainable city because of it's influence, not only on the surrounding environment, but as a leading city in gold production in South Africa. The large population of nearly 3.9 million inhabitants means the carbon footprint that Joburg produces will have a significant value and hence add to the issues of global warming and climate change. In a report published by a South African company, Metorex Ltd., the CO2 equivalent
will not only minimise the effect of Joburg's carbon footprint on a global scale, but also act as a role model for other cities in Southern Africa. Cities like Joburg facilitate enormous flows of both people and material within them. These flows of people and material contribute to the character of the city and it's ability to adapt to change. It is this ability to adapt to change which will be the greatest obstacle in combating global warming and climate change, as reluctance to take the necessary steps in securing our future will lead to devastating consequences. Consequences, as suggested by Block 6 could involve heat waves, flooding, and rising sea level. Creating cities which are flexible, as sustainable cities are, and which can cope with these environmental scenarios will undoubtedly go along way to sustaining quality of life in not only Joburg, but around the planet too. What better place to encourage change than to start with the economic institutions which pull people from across the country in search of better earning opportunity. In South Africa Joburg is such a city and is seen as the economic hub of South Africa, contributing to over a third of the...
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