Environmental vulnerability of settlements

Through the intersection of immediate and long-term infrastructure pressures, a number of locational-based risks exist in the GCR and are impacting the vulnerability of both communities and ecosystems in the city-region. These risks do not exist in isolation from the metabolic flows discussed above, but form part of the challenges facing the GCR. Some of these challenges are resultant of Mine Residue Areas (MRAs), Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and flooding histories of the region. All of these factors are affected by climatic variability and global climate change, which is projected to result in small aggregate changes, and an increase in extreme weather related events, which will have broader implications for the city-region’s metabolism over time. Environmental risks are unevenly distributed across Gauteng, as are human settlements. The impact of environmental risk are arguably greatest when they are borne by communities living in poorly serviced, low income areas. This intersection is an important component of understanding the management and mitigation of environmental risk in the GCR.