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Unpacking the ‘city learning lab’ approach

In the last 30 years, climate change coupled with unplanned, rapid urbanization generated significant development challenges worldwide. The impacts of climate change are already being felt globally through increased temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, and an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme-weather events. The intersection of climate and urbanization is a point of stress and challenge as well opportunity and learning. The ‘City Learning Lab’ approach described here is designed to facilitate multi-disciplinary problem-solving at the intersection of these two trends across five cities in Southern Africa. It has been developed and is being used by the ‘Future Resilience for African Cities and Lands’ (FRACTAL) project, which aims to advance and integrate scientific knowledge into climate-sensitive decisions on the city and regional scale.

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