Adaptation to flooding, pathway to housing or ‘wasteful expenditure’? Governance configurations and local policy subversion in a flood-prone informal settlement in Cape Town

This paper by David Jordhus-Lier, Andreas Saaghus, Dianne Scott and Gina Ziervogel responds to the call by Wise et al. (2014) to improve our understanding of decisions related to urban climate adaptation by situating policy interventions in a broader governance contex

Abstract

This paper responds to the call by Wise et al. (2014) to improve our understanding of decisions related to urban climate adaptation by situating policy interventions in a broader governance context. To develop this argument we use a qualitative case study from Cape Town, South Africa of a local government intervention in an informal settlement suffering from annual flooding. The intervention took the form of gravel platforms raising the ground on which residential dwellings were located.

We argue that the meaning and purpose of this intervention have been shaped by multiple social agendas promoted by various actors, producing a contested result and arguably impacting on the potential of the intervention to serve as a pathway to increased adaptive capacity. In addition to the notion of adaptive pathways, we draw on the notions of governance configuration and local policy subversion to explain the case in question.

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Published Nov. 22, 2018 9:56 AM - Last modified Nov. 22, 2018 9:56 AM