Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. Within the Global South, the fastest rate of urbanization is currently being experienced in Sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, twenty-five of the 100 fastest growing cities are in Africa. The rise of an urban Africa compounds the threats presented by climate change. The potential disruptive effects of climate change are include: negative implications for crop production, food security, and human hunger. Extreme rainfall events—many of which have been experienced in recent years—are resulting in widespread flooding, mudslides, habitat degradation, destruction of homes, and loss of life among humans and wildlife.
Our research will examine the unfolding impacts of climate change on the rapidly growing cities of Kenya in East Africa. Specifically, we will be exploring urban flooding due to changing rainfall patterns, air pollution exacerbated by automobile adoption and urban heat island, infectious diseases exacerbated by flooding, heat, and degraded environmental quality (e.g., air, surface and ground water, tree canopy), and global urbanization.
A research collaboration has been established with with colleagues drawn from three partner universities in Kenya. Through this partnership we develop a shared research agenda and build capacity to provide policy/action oriented research to assist with adaption. Our partners understand the threats to their region. Together we work to develop science driven policy and action-oriented research that advances adaptation.