A greener Joburg to weather climate change
As the residents of Johannesburg try to deal with the growing impact of climate change, the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) plans to help everyone adapt by building more integrated and liveable communities.
The plan, known as the “corridors of freedom”, aims to address the problems of an increasing population, poverty, inequality, social exclusion and underdevelopment.
According to the City, these communities will have access to green transportation through the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, and to energy-efficient buildings, which will feature solar geysers, insulated ceilings and energy-saving light bulbs. The “complete streets” concept will be implemented, which encourages eco-mobility (pedestrian lanes and cycling lanes) as well as landscaped sidewalks, green parks and green spaces.
“The choices we make today will determine the future of our city, our country and our planet. That’s why the City is working towards building sustainable communities that are climate-proofed, and have access to basic services and economic opportunities,” stresses Johannesburg’s Executive Mayor, Mpho Parks Tau.
The CoJ has already put its plan into action by insulating ceilings and installing compact fluorescent lamps and solar water heaters in low-income households. In Cosmo City, for example, it installed 940 solar water heaters and 26 850 more have been installed in other low-income areas. Rain harvesting tanks were installed in various areas and green education and awareness campaigns, such as tree planting, have been implemented in several communities.
The City is urging communities to follow its example by installing solar geysers and energy-efficient light bulbs. People are also being encouraged to recycle waste at its source and buy more locally grown food, or to grow their own organic vegetable gardens and sell these vegetables to those living in the community nearby.
These goals are embodied in the Joburg GDS 2040 Strategy which aims to create a city that is resilient, sustainable and liveable – where all citizens have access to electricity, clean water, sanitation, food, fresh air, education, health and meaningful employment.