The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Technical Centre for Disaster Risk Management, Sustainability and Urban Resilience (DiMSUR) are piloting the participatory planning tool for building urban resilience, known as CityRAP, in three South African cities. George was identified as one of the ideal cities to implement the pilot project (the other two cities are Port Alfred and Potchefstroom). George is also the host of the training workshop for all three cities and a number of international University partners, during which 45 participants are being trained for 5 days, ending 28 February 2020. After the training, each city will implement CityRAP, which will be a 3-4 month process.
The main objectives of CityRAP are to develop local, national and sub-regional capacities for reducing vulnerability and building resilience of communities to natural and other hazards by making use of a participatory approach. According to Mr Gerhard Otto, Garden Route District Municipality Manager: Disaster Management, who is attending the training this week, he sees “CityRAP as an enabling tool, which puts us in the driver’s seat of urban resilience planning to ensure capacity retention and use”.
Over the past 5 years, CityRAP has already been conducted in 31 locations in 11 African countries.
Through the successful implementation and training of this tool, city managers and municipal technicians will be able to roll-out participatory urban resilience planning. It comes at a time when the District Coordination Service Delivery Model (DCSDM) has become a talking point among Local Governments. The DCSDM is expected to narrow the distance between citizens and municipal/ district authorities, an approach complemented by CityRAP in terms of participatory governance, which will give rise to active participation by communities in development, and enable long-term planning as well as responses to immediate “burning” issues.
Stakeholders from the following organisations are in attendance
Garden Route District Municipality, Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management and Fire Rescue Services, Ndlambe Local Municipality, Stenden South Africa, JB Marks Local Municipality, City of Mutare (Zimbabwe), National Disaster Management Centre, North West Provincial Government, National Department of Human Settlements, City of George, University of Botswana, Malawi University of Science and Technology, Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique), University of Antananarivo (Madagascar), ARDHI University (Tanzania), Comoros University (Comoros), North-West University, Rhodes University and Stellenbosch University.
This workshop is being implemented in the context of the project, “Building Sustainable Urban Resilience in Southern Africa”, which was funded by the World Bank as part of the ACP-EU NDRR Program, with the support of the European Commission Directorate-General Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO).