An ecological infrastructure and socio-ecological toolkit

An ecological infrastructure and socio-ecological toolkit


C40 Cities Finance Facility

Type(s) of Tool

GuidelinesOperationalize sustainability principles, less specific than Benchmarks or Rating Systems.


Natural Infrastructure

Lifecycle Phase(s)

Strategic PlanningPublic authorities identify the needs and long-term vision for infrastructure development., PrioritizationAuthorities decide which projects to realize and how to allocate resources., Project PlanningGeneral strategy for a project’s delivery is developed.

Open Source


Language Availability


Country of Origin

South Africa

Date of Development

November 2020


The CFF has compiled this toolkit in collaboration with eThekwini Municipality (Durban) to guide practitioners, decision-and policy-makers, and anyone interested in the topic, on how to improve the overall health of rivers. The toolkit comprises both grey infrastructure (i.e. human-engineered hard structures, such as gabions) and light-touch grey infrastructure (i.e. ecologically-friendly engineering solutions, such as wetland construction and brush packing). Each intervention option is accompanied by a specifications sheet with relevant information for planning, designing, financing and implementation. Whilst the interventions proposed in the toolkit are focused on the Kwa-Zulu Natal context, they can be applied elsewhere following the appropriate contextualisation process.

Sustainability Criteria

Rrisks and impacts to the health of riverine systems were distilled from the eThekwini Municipality Integrated Development Report (IDP, 2017), and
in consultation with experts and municipal authorities.
The IDP identifies eleven main risks and impacts:
– Invasive Alien Plants (IAPs),
– Sediment control,
– Catchment degradation,
– Urban stormwater management,
– Flood risk management,
– River bank erosion and stabilisation,
– Poor water quality,
– Solid waste management,
– Negative biodiversity impacts, and
– Sand mining.


Biodiversity, Climate Change Adaptation

Contact Information