Wuhan, China - Arcadis was appointed as the principal consultant by Wuhan Water Authority for its Sponge City programme. With the threats of rapid urbanization and climate change rising, China is facing several water problems including water scarcity, urban flooding and water quality problems. The Wuhan Sponge City programme will create a direct opportunity to challenge this trends by developing a city’s infrastructure to hold, clean and drain water, using an ecologically-friendly approach.
Arcadis was appointed as the principal consultant by Wuhan Water Authority for its Sponge City programme. With rising threats of rapid urbanization and climate change, China is facing several issues around water scarcity, urban flooding and water quality. The Wuhan Sponge City programme will directly address these trends by developing the city’s infrastructure enabling it to better retain and process water, using an ecologically-friendly approach.
In 2013, China announced a national initiative to develop selected cities’ water infrastructure and management networks. The programme was launched to upgrade urban drainage, prioritizing the need to retain valuable water resources and to utilize the natural system to achieve drainage and retention. Wuhan is the first city that will be subject to this central government driven initiative, which in total will include 16 cities across China, including Chongqing and Xiamen.
As the principal consultant, Arcadis will provide technical, policy, program management and advisory solutions to the Wuhan sponge city programme. The project will result in a spatial vision of a water sensitive urban design in a new development district in Wuhan. Arcadis will be supporting this project by providing data and knowledge of previous water projects.
WenMei Ha, Head of China Water Management team at Arcadis Asia commented: “We are very excited to be part of this pioneering project in Wuhan. Blending green infrastructure with other flooding control measures, the Sponge City programme aims to reduce the economic and environmental damage caused by pluvial flooding in Wuhan and improve the quality of life for its residents. With our extensive hands-on experience and knowledge of water projects across the globe, we will be able to deliver efficient and sustainable results for the Sponge City projects.”
The sponge city programme takes inspiration from other global initiatives, such as the low impact development in the US, water sensitive urban design in Australia and sustainable drainage systems in the UK.
The ambitious project aims to have 20% of the chosen cities constructed to a sponge city standard by 2020, and 80% by 2030.
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