• AutoTL;DRB
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    22 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    A sponge city is designed to absorb rainwater to mitigate flooding by using green spaces like parks and wetlands and blue spaces like ponds and rivers to lower the amount of excess rainwater entering the sewerage system.The idea is that this prevents the need to remove water with large-scale infrastructure such as sewage pipes.One of the pioneers is China, which in 2013 made sponge cities part of a multibillion-dollar national policy after experiencing substantial flash flooding.As well as helping with flood prevention, sponge cities have been found, external to provide wider benefits, such as more community green spaces, better air and water quality and improved biodiversity.Sewerage and rainwater are often carried in the same pipes in the UK.

    These can cause significant pollution.From cities with more than a million residents like Auckland in New Zealand to small “sponge towns, external” in Kenya, many places have used the concept to try to tackle surface flooding.

    Alongside having green areas such as parks, wetlands and woodlands, a key element of any sponge city is the use of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS).SuDs is a wide-ranging term for local-scale projects designed to manage excess rainwater.

    The damage from 2021 pushed City Hall to create a designated task force called the London Surface Water Strategy, external.In the aftermath of the flooding, Thames Water commissioned an independent review and found a slew of failures, admitting it “let customers down”.Notably, the drainage system was easily overwhelmed and the “lack of effective communication” between key flood management organisations exacerbated the problems.These findings led to stakeholders being brought together to create the strategy group - but the results won’t be published until later this year.

    “I want to see SuDS on every street,” he says.Along with organisations such as the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), CIWEM is advocating for the implementation of Schedule 3 - although Mr Chisholm thinks retrofitting existing spaces would go a long way towards helping London become a sponge city.

    Adopting the sponge city concept, but tailoring it for local physical and climatic conditions can be seen across the world; from Copenhagen’s climate park, external that stores storm water and Amsterdam’s floating houses to deal with rising water levels, to Kuala Lumpur’s highway that becomes an overflow tunnel, external in floods.In London, alongside the wealth of SuDS options, sponginess can be boosted by de-paving driveways and patios, creating more parks, collecting rainwater, planting more trees and adequately maintaining existing sewage networks.


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