Environmental degradation affects many rapidly urbanizing cities in Sub-Saharan Africa. This World Bank funded project aims to improve the understanding of the impact of urban development on natural assets and ecosystem services in African cities and to enhance the ability of national and local governments to make well-informed strategic, planning, land-use, and investment decisions.

AECOM has been contracted by the World Bank to lead the project, conduct stakeholder consultations, and prepare project deliverables in three case study cities: Durban, South Africa; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and, Kampala, Uganda.

Starting in 2014, the project involves three key activities:

  • Preparation of Urban Environmental Profiles for each case study city that collections secondary information and identifies key urban environmental externalities arising from urbanization in each city.  Informal settlements, effluent, solid waste and extraction of natural resources are some of the primary drivers of degradation of wetlands, rivers, forests and coastal assets.  Across all three cities, climate change appears to be exacerbating trends of degradation.
  • An assessment of the value of ecosystem services with each city and the cost and benefits associated with interventions that significantly restore aspects of this base;
  • Development of a portfolio of generic fiscal, regulatory and other policy instruments which public agencies can use to mitigate negative environmental externalities deriving from urbanization in Africa.

The findings of this work will be incorporated into a toolkit of urban mechanisms and strategies that can be used by city leaders and planners to support more sustainable urban planning.