Skyline of Durban, South Africa. Photo: wildacad / Getty Images .

For cities to develop in ways that are sustainable, climate resilient and equitable, considerations about climate change must factor into planning, investment and management decisions. Incorporating these considerations into city decision-making contexts requires having robust, actionable climate information. It also requires having capabilities and mechanisms to integrate the climate information into complex technical and political urban decision-making processes.

A growing number of co-production processes are underway in southern Africa. These efforts use decision-support tools, and create spaces for engagement and learning about how climate risk features in urban decision-making processes.

This paper reviews recent research on how climate information services can be brought to bear to improve key city development and urban management decisions in southern African cities. The authors argue that decentralization and devolution are needed for climate-sensitive decisions in cities, and that local governments and universities should build capacity to help set the stage for such change.