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SuDS & Sponge Cities: A Comparative Analysis of the Implementation of Pluvial Flood Management in the UK and China

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Centre for Agroecology, Water & Resilience, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, West Midlands, UK
2
Civil and Structural Engineering Department, University of Sheffield, Sir Frederick Mappin Building, Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 3JD, South Yorkshire, UK
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School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekou Outer St, Bei Tai Ping Zhuang, Haidian Qu, Beijing 100875, China
4
School of Environmental and Municipal Engineering, Xi’an University of Architecture & Technology, Yanta IT Shangquan, Beilin, Xi’an 710055, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010213
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 27 December 2018 / Published: 4 January 2019
In recent decades, rapid urbanization has resulted in a growing urban population, transformed into regions of exceptional socio-economic value. By removing vegetation and soil, grading the land surface and saturating soil air content, urban developments are more likely to be flooded, which will be further exacerbated by an anticipated increase in the number of intense rainfall events, due to climate change. To date, data collected show that urban pluvial flood events are on the rise for both the UK and China. This paper presents a critical review of existing sustainable approaches to urban flood management, by comparing UK practice with that in China and critically assessing whether lessons can be learnt from the Sponge City initiative. The authors have identified a strategic research plan to ensure that the sponge city initiative can successfully respond to extreme climatic events and tackle pluvial flooding. Hence, this review suggests that future research should focus on (1) the development of a more localized rainfall model for the Chinese climate; (2) the role of retrofit SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) in challenging water environments; (3) the development of a robust SuDS selection tool, ensuring that the most effective devices are installed, based on local factors; and (4) dissemination of current information, and increased understanding of maintenance and whole life-costing, alongside monitoring the success of sponge cities to increase the confidence of decision makers (5) the community engagement and education about sponge cities. View Full-Text
Keywords: flood management; urban flooding; Sustainable Drainage Systems; sponge cities; lessons to be learnt; future opportunities flood management; urban flooding; Sustainable Drainage Systems; sponge cities; lessons to be learnt; future opportunities
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Lashford, C.; Rubinato, M.; Cai, Y.; Hou, J.; Abolfathi, S.; Coupe, S.; Charlesworth, S.; Tait, S. SuDS & Sponge Cities: A Comparative Analysis of the Implementation of Pluvial Flood Management in the UK and China. Sustainability 2019, 11, 213.

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