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Hallmark of a Resilient City: Adoption of Green Infrastructure in African Cities

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Document pages: 12 pages

Abstract: Dynamic urbanization of African cities has createddevelopment trajectories that face systemic challenges in the provision ofsustainable and ecologically resilient urban environments. The specificchallenges include extensive unregulated growth with informal settlementsreflecting poor service levels and high poverty indices, inadequacy in provision of basic services in health, water,housing, transport and communicationinfrastructure, high reliance on biomass fuels, exposure to environmental stress and implausible climate change coping andmitigation mechanisms among others. Review of extensive literature and synthesis of existing bodies of knowledge on theecological and management perspectives of urban environments revealed many gapsand understanding of urban transformation processes. The purpose of this reviewwas to contextualize credible pathways for optimization of both ecosystem goodsand services from green urban landscapes (Green infrastructure) and non-greeninfrastructure to ensure sustainable and ecologically resilient urbanenvironments. Attempts were made to rationalize and validate throughdiscussions the benefits of managed urban ecosystems for African cities. On the basis of the evidence from theliterature, it is concluded that urban development trajectories that do notembrace multifaceted approaches that deliberately retain and maintain greeninfrastructure in the urban environment may not be cost-effective. It isrecommended that systematic integration of urban forestry concepts in urbanplanning that involves communities, local and national governments, businessentrepreneurs and public and privateresearch institutions provides tenable frameworks for addressing current andfuture challenges of urbanization in Africa.

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