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Deputy Mayor shares strides made by City at global planning congress
​EThekwini Deputy Mayor Councillor Belinda Scott addressed
the 56th International Society of City and Regional Planners
Congress closing plenary session where she shared the
strides made by the City in the fields of town planning and
climate change.

A picture of transformation within the City’s town planning and climate change realms was painted when eThekwini Deputy Mayor Councillor Belinda Scott shared the progress the Municipality has made at the 56th International Society of City and Regional Planners Congress (ISOCARP) closing plenary session. The event was held online on 4 February.

The session was a culmination of a series of international engagements which kicked off with World Planning Day in November last year where leaders and planning professionals from across the world converged to deliberate on ways town planning can be innovatively used to advance and sustain cities.

Councillor Scott outlined projects that eThekwini Municipality has successfully adopted and is currently implementing, highlighting that projects associated with green initiatives are strategic and tend to span across a variety of operational areas impacting social and economic wellbeing. “It is within this premise that eThekwini Municipality integrated the green new deals within the spatial planning and land use policy framework of the City. Also, in urban design and building plan approval processes, provision of infrastructure and green buildings are the main drivers of our City’s green deals flagship programmes,” said Councillor Scott.  

Among the projects and policies highlighted by Councillor Scott were the New Buildings Green Policy which requires all new buildings to be net zero carbon by 2030, the Climate Action Plan adopted by Council in 2019 and officially launched in 2020 and the Shisa Solar Programme.

ISOCARP President Martin Dubbeling explained the importance of the congress theme being post oil. “The extraction of natural gas from huge gas fields three kilometers below our feet induced thousands of small but very powerful earthquakes that have damaged thousands of houses, schools and care facilities,” he said.

Rebuilding the damaged structures presents an opportunity to build post oil cities and to rethink the cities being rebuilt, creating a healthy and inclusive environment while focusing on heritage, ensuring economic diversity as well as water safety and management and sustainable energy, added Dubbeling.

Other speakers who shared their journeys of planning transformation were mayors and deputy mayors from cities in Canada, Poland, Qatar, Iran, Indonesia and Belgium.

Preceding the closing plenary session was the ISOCARP World Café where there was knowledge sharing and discussions on the future of planning.

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