Author(s): Chao Mei, Hao Wang, Hao Wang, Weiwei SHAO, Weiwei SHAO, Yingdong Yu, Jiahong Liu
Keywords: Sponge city; Urbanization; Low impact development; Green infrastructure; Urban hydrology;
The latest effort by China to resolve the urban water problem accompanying urbanization is based on the concept of a sponge city. Presently, large-scale pilot sponge city construction projects are underway nationwide. This study summarizes the outcomes of the three-year pilot project of sponge city phase I in China, which is nearing completion. The three problems identified in the investigation of the pilot sponge city construction are usually associated with considering the project (a) as an engineering task, (b) as equivalent to low impact development (LID), and (c) as large-scale implementation of infrastructure. However, this study is based on the observations and summarizations made by the authors on the sponge city construction considering China's natural and geographical conditions, economic and social conditions, and the stage of development of the country. The study suggests that sponge city construction should aim at resolving the three major problems of urban waterlogging, urban water pollution, and urban water shortage faced by Chinese cities. Sponge cities should be planned and constructed based on systematic perspectives and integrated into the whole process of urban development. The findings from the article can provide a reference value for sponge city construction and research in other parts of the world as well.