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.
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- Flood management
- Future opportunities
- Lessons to be learnt
- Sponge cities
- Sustainable Drainage Systems
- Urban flooding
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law