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In recent decades, many Chinese cities are facing serious inner flood issues, especially big cities. Large built-up area, high ratio of impervious surface, and deficient infrastructures are the main reasons. The conventional drainage infrastructure can hardly deal with frequent inner floods companied with fast urbanization. Ironically, most Chinese cities are suffering from water shortage meanwhile (Fan & Zhao, 2010).

Under such a situation, the idea of constructing “Sponge City of natural retention, natural infiltration and natural purification” was proposed on the 2013 Central Authority Congress of Urbanization. In 2014, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) released Technical Guide of Sponge City: Construction of Low Impact Development Stormwater System. MOHURD, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Water Resources started the First Pilot Sponge Cities program supported by central finance in 2015.

The concept of Sponge City referenced to LID and BMPs of United States and other related strategies. Different from the conventional stormwater controls, LID emphasizes using green infrastructure to manage non-point source stormwater runoff, and the constructed practices have proved the efficiency, and economic and environmental benefits of LID (EPA, 2000).

In China, researches and practices on LID began in the late 2000s (Yang & Lin, 2015). Before that, using green spaces to manage stormwater had been discussed (Zhang & Yan, 1996; Li et al., 2001; Wang & Zhang, 2006). The concept of LID evolved to Sponge City in 2011, when researchers and officials proposed Sponge City to manage stormwater (Yang & Lin, 2015). At present, the researches on Sponge City are increasing rapidly, including interpretation of the concept (Yu et al., 2015; Qiu, 2015), planning models (Peng et al., 2015; Tong et al., 2015), technical measures (Wang et al., 2016) and project practices (Wang et al., 2014).



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