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Transformation towards resilient sponge cities in China

China’s national Sponge City Program promotes the integration of green–grey–blue infrastructure for sustainable urban-water governance. However, recent record-breaking flood events have called the efficacy of the programme into question, illustrating the need for a holistic social–natural–engineering strategy to manage future climate uncertainties.

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Fig. 1: A resilient sponge city.


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F.K.S.C. is supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (no. 2019YFA0606903, 2019YFC1510400), National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 41971040, 41850410497), Ningbo Science and Technology Bureau (grant no. 201401C 5008005). W.Y.C. is supported by the General Research Fund from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (17302821). Y.P. is supported by the Urban Emergency Management Research Innovation Team of Zhejiang University of Finance & Economics. We thank D. Y. Chen, J. Li, M. Guan, L. Li, Y. Qi, X. Lu, Y. He and D. R. Thadani for their support, discussions and ideas.

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Correspondence to Faith Ka Shun Chan or Wendy Y. Chen.

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Chan, F.K.S., Chen, W.Y., Gu, X. et al. Transformation towards resilient sponge cities in China. Nat Rev Earth Environ 3, 99–101 (2022).

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