UWE environmental experts advise on sustainability for Durban\’s new airport city



Experts from the University of the West of England\’s Faculty of Environment and Technology have developed a framework to ensure the long-term sustainable development of the land and infrastructure around Durban\’s new King Shaka International Airport.

Known as the Dube Aerotropolis, the development will eventually cover a site with a radius of about 15 km, approximately the size of Bristol, around the recently opened airport north of the city of Durban in South Africa.

Dr Enda Hayes said, \”This exciting multi-disciplinary project brought together many colleagues who advised on the sustainable development, during the next sixty years, of the land and infrastructure in the vicinity of the King Shaka International Airport, Durban, while supporting the client\’s vision of working towards carbon and water neutrality for the area. This vision was made even more challenging by the role of aviation as a key driver to the development.\”

In addition to a comprehensive high level carbon emissions inventory and a water inventory, the Framework document provided a unique bespoke Sustainability Vision Matrix for the region, providing a baseline assessment and future sustainable development recommendations under eight key themes of:

* Planning and the Built Environment
* Climate Change, Energy and Aviation
* Water
* Land and Ecology
* Ground Transport
* Community, Economic Development and Employment
* Procurement
* Waste

The Framework for Sustainability for the Dube Aerotropolis in Durban, South Africa was prepared as input to the Dube Aerotropolis Regional Development Strategy and delivered to clients Dube TradePort and Tongaat Hulett Developments at a workshop attended by Dr Enda Hayes, Rose Bailey, Tom Chambers, Dr Chad Staddon and Dr Mark Everard.

This is the latest in a series of projects in which UWE\’s Air Quality Management Research Centre (AQMRC) have advised on air and carbon management issues in Africa. Previous projects include the Low Carbon Consensus Panel study for the Academy of Science of South Africa and the National Framework for Air Quality for the South African Government.

The Bristol Group for Water Research is currently involved in various research initiatives including projects in Spain, UK, Uganda, Bulgaria and South Africa on the social scientific and civil engineering aspects of sustainable urban water under conditions of climate change.