SHENZHEN is planning to expand the size of its sponge city by 30 square kilometers this year, the Daily Sunshine reported yesterday.
As Shenzhen was chosen by the Central Government as a national pilot sponge city last year, the city government has laid out a plan to expand the sponge city and carry out 150 renovation projects to upgrade existing facilities in order to meet the requirements of a sponge city.
With cities getting bigger and climate change threatening to bring more extreme weather, some scientists and politicians are proposing "sponge cities," which are aimed at reshaping the urban environment so that nearly every raindrop could be captured, controlled and reused.
Instead of funneling rainwater away, a sponge city retains it for use within its own boundaries. Some might be used to recharge depleted aquifers or irrigate gardens and urban farms. Some could replace the drinking water we use to flush our toilets and clean our homes. It could even be processed to make it clean enough to drink.
China has experienced rapid urbanization over the past 30 years, with the level of urbanization soaring from 17.9 percent in 1978 to 56.1 percent in 2015. However, almost half of the over 600 cities across the country have been affected by floods and waterlog more or less in rainy seasons, which shows the necessity and urgency of building sponge cities.
The sponge city in Shenzhen will be able to collect and reuse 70 percent of the rainwater. According to the city government's plan, over 20 percent of urban areas in Shenzhen will be turned into the sponge city by 2020, while 80 percent of urban areas will reach the goal by 2030.
Currently, there are nearly 100 sponge-city model projects in Shenzhen. As Shenzhen's pilot sponge city area, Fenghuang Town in Guangming New Area ranked first among 14 pilot areas nationwide in the latest performance ranking released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-rural Development on May 18.