n Journal of Public Administration - Green growth transitions through a green infrastructure approach at the local government level : case study for the Gauteng City-Region

Volume 50, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The risks associated with rapid urbanisation and climate change have highlighted the need to reconfigure the growth and development trajectories of cities and economies both internationally and locally. Cities around the world are exploring opportunities, such as the green growth agenda, to achieve sustainable development through innovative approaches to planning and delivering urban infrastructure and services. The concept of green infrastructure (GI) has emerged internationally as a way to foster economic growth and development using natural or man-made assets to provide resources and environmental services. GI is a set of natural and man-made ecological systems that provide services to society, such as flood attenuation, water and air filtration, and microclimate regulation, which can be used as an alternative, or partner to traditional infrastructure. As infrastructure policies are central to the implementation of a successful green growth strategy, GI offers a new approach for providing cost-effective and efficient infrastructure while meeting green growth objectives. This paper explores the potential for GI to meet green growth commitments in the Gauteng City-Region (GCR). The research includes a desktop analysis of how the concept of green growth has permeated policy and planning in South Africa and how GI can be used to operationalise green growth concepts. These concepts have been unpacked through a GI CityLab - a platform of engagement that draws together insights from government officials and academics - that collaboratively explores how GI can be applied to government planning in the GCR. The CityLab findings highlight that while there is potential for GI to help deliver infrastructure and services in a more sustainable and cost-effective way, there are significant barriers to the uptake of this approach. The paper concludes by positing that to overcome these barriers, local case studies and suitable GIS databases need to be developed to facilitate the incorporation of GI into policy and planning in the GCR.

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