This content was originally published on The Resilience Shift website. The Resilience Shift, a 5-year programme supported by Lloyd’s Register Foundation and hosted by Arup, transitioned at the end of 2021 to become Resilience Rising. You can read more about The Resilience Shift’s journey and the transition to Resilience Rising here.

Throughout COP26, our own Peter Willis will be talking to thought leaders about climate resilience in this daily video-podcast, hosted by the COP Resilience Hub.

In the seventh episode, Peter talks to Dr Debra Roberts, Head of Sustainable and Resilient Initiatives at eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa & Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group 2.

With her unusual perspective from within local government, Debra identifies what she sees as critical ingredients of a more resilient future for African cities. They include knowledge exchange between science, local government practice and community sources; a more roundtable approach to government, distributing the power and embracing the reality of urban informality, where many people are already “˜walking the future’ in terms of the levels of uncertainty and precarity they confront and the ingenuity they have to manifest to survive.

She sees social safety nets and ground-level access to power and decision-making as important steps towards helping them build resilience. All of this change requires enormous courage from those who would lead.

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