Paving the way for climate-resilient infrastructure: Building sustainable cities and low-carbon mobility in Africa

Africa is the continent with the most rapidly growing urban population, with more than 80% of its population growth expected to occur in cities over the next 30 years. An estimated $20-25 billion per year needs to be invested in basic urban infrastructure, and an additional $20 billion per year in housing to respond to urban population growth—these investments need to be climate-proofed to ensure a sustainable pathway for urban buildout. This surge in population is paired with rapid urbanization and increased transportation. Consequently, harmful emissions from transportation are growing significantly across Africa, further driven by urban sprawl, rapid motorization and low levels of institutional capacity to manage traffic and its impact. Inadequate city planning, inefficient land use, and poor regulatory systems have created an unsustainable model of urban growth that has resulted in unmanaged, fragmented and hyper-informal cities and all forms of pollution. Moreover, the potential consequences of climate change such as the rise in sea levels and erratic weather patterns are expected to increasingly strain the capacities of Africa’s urban systems and heighten their vulnerability.