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Are sponge cities a solution to growing urban flooding problems?

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So-called sponge cities use green roofs, rain gardens, wetlands, and other nature-based measures to absorb, retain, and purify excessive stormwater. A perspective published in WIREs Water discusses the potential of such initiatives to address flooding, and lists key components required for success.

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The authors note that the national Sponge City Programme in China, which was initiated in 2014 and already supported 30 pilot cities for stormwater management, has been extended for a new roll-out phase from 2021–2023, with a first group of 20 cities announced in June 2021. The article provides a roadmap for this next stage development, which can play a key role in building flood resilience and adapting cities to climate change.

“Sponge cities have been heralded as a sustainable solution to China’s urban flooding, but there are limits to how much rainfall they can absorb, so incorporation of a wider set of community-based interventions will be vital to make sponge cities flood resilient,” said corresponding author Guangtao Fu, Ph.D., of the University of Exeter, in the UK.

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Further information: Are sponge cities the solution to China’s growing urban flooding problems?, DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1613

Source: Wiley

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