Learning from other regions: new book on climate change initiatives in Cape Town

Here are details of a new book, co-edited by my friend and sometime co-author Di Scott, elaborating on collaborative urban policy initiatives to address climate change issues in and around Cape Town. The book is just one example of a wide range of innovative theoretical, empirical and applied research on urban issues emanating from South African ‘urban studies’, broadly defined.

Here’s a link to the flyer for the book, and here is the blurb:

“Cape Town’s drought crisis grabbed global headlines in 2018 and its causes and solutions were – and continue to be — hotly debated. But managing water shortages and other climate change impacts have been integrated into the city’s urban policy-making for some time, in response to rapid urbanisation and uncertainty about the exact nature, timing and magnitude of city-scale climatic changes. This book presents initiatives at the local government level, across a range of departments, from environmental resource management to housing, stormwater management, water management, energy management and spatial planning. In addition, it records the progress made and challenges faced in mainstreaming climate change into urban policies, processes, programmes and practices, a problem facing most urban areas around the world. The text was co-produced by academics and municipal officials, including economists, engineers, ecologists, geographers and planners, who worked collaboratively in a process of mutual learning. This hybrid process, where practitioner experience is coupled with an academic and research perspective, has produced an ‘insider’ view of urban development and climate change governance through the lens of theory. The result provides new practice-based knowledge for policy-making in the transition towards more sustainable cities in the face of climate change, particularly those in the global South.”


New Book: ATLAS: Geography, Architecture and Change in an Interdependent World

A new book, an edited collected, has just been published by Black Dog Publishing – ATLAS: Geography, Architecture and Change in an Interdependent World. It’s edited by Renata Tyszczuk at Sheffield and three of my OU colleagues, Melissa Butcher, Nigel Clark and Joe Smith. This is part of a long-standing and on-going set of collaborations between OU Geography, Architecture at Sheffield, and the New Economics Foundation, as well as others. There is an associated web-site which archives further materials from these projects, and there is a launch event in London on March 13th, New Maps for an Island Planet.

The book is, apart from anything else, very lovely to look at (I have the least visually imaginative essay, all text, no pictures). Here’s the blurb:

Atlas: Geography, Architecture and Change in an Interdependent World helps readers find their way through the practical and ethical challenges presented by globalisation and global environmental change. Atlas: Geography, Architecture and Change in an Interdependent World combines recent thinking on human geography and architecture on global environmental change issues, setting out to develop a reinterpretation of cartography and a reframing of sustainability. The aim is to find a “re-drawing of the earth” and the “making of new maps”. With a focus on the growth and remaking of cities it offers an innovative mix of essays and shorter texts, original artworks and distinctive re-mappings. The Atlas arises out of a unique collaboration between scholars and practitioners from architecture and human geography.

Geography Matters!

A shout-out for Geography Matters, the Facebook page looked after by my colleague Melissa Butcher, designed as “a site for promoting geography research and teaching”, not only, it should be said, the research and teaching of geography at the OU. It’s more like a ‘hub’ for things of interest, geography-wise. The place to go if you’re looking for geography-friends.

Amongst other things, you will find a link there to the website of another of my colleagues, Joe Smith, introducing 10 short films on climate change.

Culture and Climate Change

A new publication, a joint product of a collaboration between the OpenSpace Research Centre at the OU and the Ashden Trust, on the cultural politics of climate change, including contributions from my OU colleagues Joe Smith and Nigel Clark, plus scientists, activists, journalists, and others – short essays and dialogues.