FRACTAL - Future Resilience for African Cities and Lands

Future Resilience for African Cities and Lands (FRACTAL) is a four year project within the multi-consortia Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) program. The project addresses the challenge of providing accessible, timely, applicable and defensible climate information that is needed by decision-makers operating at the city regional scale in southern Africa.

One of the main scientific problems for understanding southern Africa’s climate is that different models give contradictory scenarios for climate trends over the next 5–40 years. Through a transdisciplinary learning approach and scientific research FRACTAL is contributing to an improved understanding of climate processes, and regional and local climate trends that drive the southern African climate system’s natural variability and responses to change within that system.

The project engages with scientists, engineers, government representatives and other stakeholders. Working together, the researchers and stakeholders are co-producing relevant knowledge that will support resilient development pathways and enable decision-makers to better integrate pertinent climate knowledge into their resource management decisions and urban development planning.

Project Goals

FRACTAL’s long term goal is to increase the resilience of southern African cities by ensuring that decision-making processes are strengthened and include climate knowledge.

Our research approach is transdisciplinary, iterative and cyclical. This style of learning is a key to developing useful outcomes that have a measurable impact during and beyond the project’s lifetime.

WORK PACKAGE 1: Unpacks the city specific contexts, asking what are the urban climate change risks and impacts, how resilient are the cities and what decisions are being taken for adaptation and development?

WORK PACKAGE 2: Aims to understand the decision-making space in the FRACTAL cities and looks for opportunities to better incorporate climate information into local decision-making contexts.

WORK PACKAGE 3: Advances understanding of physical climate processes that govern the regional system (observed and simulated). From this it develops robust and scale relevant climate information.

Role of SMHI

The SMHI is involved in driving the core climate science research within FRACTAL, along with CSAG, UKMO and others.

Project Partners

FRACTAL consists of more than 70 researchers from several countries and the FRATCAL consortium partners are listed here:


Funded through the Future Climate For Africa (FCFA) program. FCFA is funded by Department for International Development and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).



Contact person at SMHI

Grigory Nikulin