MAPTA-Climate enables users to track the sustainability and resilience of African urban agglomerations. It combines new and innovative spatial data on green spaces, pollution, street networks, and urban forms for nearly 7 200 urban agglomerations with 10 000 inhabitants and above in 54 countries. This data improves our understanding of functional environmental realities and identifies current and future vulnerabilities as well as levers of action for transformative change.
Green spaces deliver ecosystem services that boost cities’ resilience to climate change and strengthen their sustainability. They can attenuate the impacts of extreme weather events such as heat waves, heavy rainfalls, storms and floods, as well as slow-onset risks like drought, land erosion, and landslides. A recent SWAC analysis illustrates that green spaces can help reduce air pollution in urban agglomerations in Africa. In addition to sequestering and storing carbon, they also contribute to water quality and even biodiversity conservation. These spaces are being lost as urban agglomerations become increasingly compact.
The green spaces indicator is the fraction of an urban agglomeration covered by green space. A value of 0.25 means that green space covers 25% of the urban footprint. The colour of the urban agglomeration represents the value of the indicator as of 2021. This data will be updated regularly.
This indicator combines two data sources. Africapolis provides the spatial boundaries of the urban agglomerations with at least 10 000 people and with less than 200 metres between buildings. The European Space Agency’s (ESA, 2020) WorldCover provides a land cover map at 10 metres of spatial resolution and uses radar as well as optical satellite imagery. The availability of green space in cities is the sum of the area of three types of land cover (km2) including trees, shrubland, and grassland divided by the total area of the urban agglomeration (km2) as defined by Africapolis.
Green spaces can boost the resilience of cities to heat waves, floods, landslides, and even coastal erosion, in addition, to enhancing sustainability by improving air quality, protecting biodiversity, and absorbing carbon
Africa is undergoing an unprecedented urban and climate transition; yet, given the right conditions, compact urban forms can encourage greater sustainability, resilience and liveability in coming decades