Participation and Planning for Climate Change: Lessons from an Experimental Project in Maputo, Mozambique
In this project it was demonstrated that local residents in Chamanculo C, and perhaps Maputo more broadly, could be responsive to a participatory planning culture. It is essential to give each citizen a voice in order to develop the potential of local communities to both engage with climate change information and to catalyse action for climate change. They can do so by incorporating climate change concerns into local development priorities. While in an abstract setting conflicts between development, mitigation and adaptation priorities may seem irreconcilable, communities are able to formulate practical and feasible options that negotiate and even resolve such trade-offs. Local residents are reducing their vulnerability to climate change, by addressing a key development priority of improving sanitation. The project also demonstrates that government institutions and business have a lot to gain from listening to local communities’ perspectives. Overall, local communities have a grounded understanding of climate, and they can do a lot with limited resources by capitalising on their own human resources. What are the broad lessons of this project for the governance of climate change in cities? Obviously, the scholarly work on climate change and cities over recent years has shown that there is not one single way to address climate change in cities, but many. The incredible variety of actions that can be taken is shaped by the multiple factors that intervene in this complex problem.