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Correction published on 25 March 2021, see Water 2021, 13(7), 900.
Review

Addressing Challenges of Urban Water Management in Chinese Sponge Cities via Nature-Based Solutions

1
School of Geographical Sciences, University of Nottingham Ningbo, Ningbo 315100, China
2
Guizhou Survey & Design Research Institute for Water Resources and Hydropower, Guiyang 550002, China
3
School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
4
[email protected] Research Institute, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
5
School of Geography, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
6
DIST—Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning, Politecnico di Torino and Università degli Studi di Torino, 10125 Torino, Italy
7
DIATI—Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
8
National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA), Christchurch 8602, New Zealand
9
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research Chinese Academy of Sciences: Beijing, Beijing 100000, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(10), 2788; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102788
Received: 2 September 2020 / Revised: 27 September 2020 / Accepted: 5 October 2020 / Published: 8 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Approaches to Manage Floods in Urban Environments)
Urban flooding has become a serious issue in most Chinese cities due to rapid urbanization and extreme weather, as evidenced by severe events in Beijing (2012), Ningbo (2013), Guangzhou (2015), Wuhan (2016), Shenzhen (2019), and Chongqing (2020). The Chinese “Sponge City Program” (SCP), initiated in 2013 and adopted by 30 pilot cities, is developing solutions to manage urban flood risk, purify stormwater, and provide water storage opportunities for future usage. Emerging challenges to the continued implementation of Sponge Cities include (1) uncertainty regarding future hydrological conditions related to climate change projections, which complicates urban planning and designing infrastructure that will be fit for purpose over its intended operating life, and (2) the competing priorities of stakeholders and their reluctance to make trade-offs, which obstruct future investment in the SCP. Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) is an umbrella concept that emerged from Europe, which encourages the holistic idea of considering wider options that combine “Blue–Green” practices with traditional engineering to deliver “integrated systems of Blue–Green–Grey infrastructure”. NBS includes interventions making use of natural processes and ecosystem services for functional purposes, and this could help to improve current pilot SCP practices. This manuscript reviews the development of the SCP, focusing on its construction and design aspects, and discusses how approaches using NBS could be included in the SCP to tackle not only urban water challenges but also a wide range of social and environmental challenges, including human health, pollution (via nutrients, metals, sediments, plastics, etc.), flood risk, and biodiversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sponge City Program (SCP); Nature-Based Solutions (NBS); urban water; flood risk management; blue–green infrastructure; multiple co-benefits Sponge City Program (SCP); Nature-Based Solutions (NBS); urban water; flood risk management; blue–green infrastructure; multiple co-benefits
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MDPI and ACS Style

Qi, Y.; Chan, F.K.S.; Thorne, C.; O’Donnell, E.; Quagliolo, C.; Comino, E.; Pezzoli, A.; Li, L.; Griffiths, J.; Sang, Y.; Feng, M. Addressing Challenges of Urban Water Management in Chinese Sponge Cities via Nature-Based Solutions. Water 2020, 12, 2788. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102788

AMA Style

Qi Y, Chan FKS, Thorne C, O’Donnell E, Quagliolo C, Comino E, Pezzoli A, Li L, Griffiths J, Sang Y, Feng M. Addressing Challenges of Urban Water Management in Chinese Sponge Cities via Nature-Based Solutions. Water. 2020; 12(10):2788. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102788

Chicago/Turabian Style

Qi, Yunfei; Chan, Faith K.S.; Thorne, Colin; O’Donnell, Emily; Quagliolo, Carlotta; Comino, Elena; Pezzoli, Alessandro; Li, Lei; Griffiths, James; Sang, Yanfang; Feng, Meili. 2020. "Addressing Challenges of Urban Water Management in Chinese Sponge Cities via Nature-Based Solutions" Water 12, no. 10: 2788. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102788

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