Build Sponge Cities

China Today (English) - - FOCUS -

From 2007 to the first half of 2013, more than 360 Chi­nese cities were hit by floods. Mean­while, half of China’s 657 cities ex­pe­ri­enced wa­ter short­ages, some to a se­vere ex­tent, ac­cord­ing to UN-Habi­tat data.

This para­dox is at­trib­ut­able to the large ex­tent of sur­fac­ing of ur­ban land – in as­phalt, ce­ment, mar­ble, and glazed tiles. Ex­ces­sive de­vel­op­ment has thus de­stroyed forests, grass­lands, lakes, and wet­lands – the city “sponges” that store rain­wa­ter and reg­u­late lo­cal cli­mate. Ac­cord­ing to a Min­istry of Hous­ing and Ur­ban-ru­ral De­vel­op­ment of­fi­cial, prior to ur­ban de­vel­op­ment there was a 70-80 per­cent ground­wa­ter in­fil­tra­tion in north­ern China, so re­plen­ish­ing lo­cal bod­ies of wa­ter and feed­ing the ecosys­tem, while the re­main­ing 20-30 per­cent drained. These per­cent­ages have now re­versed.

Last year the Min­istry of Hous­ing and Ur­ban-ru­ral De­vel­op­ment pub­lished a tech­no­log­i­cal man­ual on build­ing sponge cities. Con­struc­tion of a low-im­pact sys­tem to col­lect rain­wa­ter pre­vents floods and forms a reser­voir for the ben­e­fit of res­i­dents dur­ing times of drought. The ul­ti­mate aim is to re­store re­silience to ur­ban land.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.