Energy as Key Element for the Sustainable Development of Megacities - Johannesburg, South Africa (1)

By Andres de Wet (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons
Energy as Key Element for the Sustainable Development of Megacities - Johannesburg, South Africa
2005 - 2007
Federal Ministry of Education and Research

IER - Institut für Energiewirtschaft und Rationelle Energieanwendung, Universität Stuttgart (Koordinator); Stadtverwaltung Stuttgart, Abteilung für Umweltschutz; TÜV Rheinland Gruppe Köln; IBP - Fraunhofer-Institut für Bauphysik, Stuttgart; City of Johannesburg Municipal Authority of the City of Johannesburg, South Africa, Environmental monitoring and compliance department; Erkurhuleni: Authority of the Metropolitan municipality of Erkurhuleni, South Africa; Energy Research Center of the University of Cape Town, South Africa; University of Johannesburg, South Africa; ICLEI South Africa; CSIR - Environmentek, Environmental and Resource Economics, Pretoria, South Africa; ESKOM, Corporate Sustainability and Environment office, Energy Utility of SA; De Wit Sustainable Options (Pty) Ltd.;


Megacities of tomorrow have a crucial role to play in transition towards global sustainable development. One of the key issues they have to address to implement sustainability is to solve the energy question: Secure energy supply, equitable access to energy resources and ecologically friendly energy production and use are fundamental prerequisites for sustainabledevelopment of the world and of Megacities in particular. It is the objective of the present proposal to tackle this energy question and develop measures to improve and even optimise the sustainable development of Megacities in all three, the economic, the ecological and the social dimension. As target region the Metropolitan area of greater Johannesburg, Region Gauteng, was selected. Compared to other African Megacities and despite the sometimes difficult conditions, the overall situation of Johannesburg shows potential and measures promise to yield success.

The project aims shall be reached by a top-down and a bottom-up approach. While in the long run the energy system of greater Johannesburg shall be evaluated as a whole by an energy model approach, individual and rather small scale projects shall be realised bottom-up in the short run and monitored and optimised in an iterative manner. For this approach a set of instruments and tools will be used and adopted to the local requirements. Eventually, this approach results in providing a data base and a set of energy related tools and models, which may serve as a pool for all energy relevant data and to quantify the effects of measures and recommendations on the environment, the energy economics and sustainability indicators of the Johannesburg region. Pilot projects addressing the optimisation of energy related problems (e.g. in houses, settlements, traffic, etc.) shall be implemented in collaboration with the municipal authorities and companies (e.g. domestic housing companies). Initially a project in a schools is suggested, a bilateral collaboration with a German school is possible. A thorough and iterative monitoring will allow the optimisation of the projects.

Capacity building, the qualification and participation of involved groups (stakeholders) and the establishment of robust networks will play an important role in the project. The learning effects of the project shall help to develop self-sustaining structures and processes for the sustainable development of the region, also in other elementary fields.

The project will consider and include - where appropriate - the results and processes of the ALEP methodology (Advanced Local Energy Planning) as an integrated approach and address the Agenda 21 process, fortified in the Johannesburg conference in Sept. 2002. The core of the initial 2-year-project preparation phase will be the networking and capacity building of the involved institutions, the design of (improved) structures and processes and the demonstration of a successful set-up for energy and sustainability related projects. The long-term project will be thoroughly prepared. The mutual exchange of knowledge and experience between the German and South African side is secured by a "mirror structure" of the project team on the German side, including the city of Stuttgart, and on the South African side, including the Municipalities of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni in the Gauteng region.

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