Past Research Projects
Spongy City Construction

From Climate Change Mitigation to Adaptation:

The Fever of 'Sponge City' Construction in China and Its Implications to Local Environmental Governance

Research Grant from Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Title: From Climate Change Mitigation to Adaptation: The Fever of 'Sponge City' Construction in China and Its Implications to Local Environmental Governance

Position: Co-Investigator

Period: 1 September 2019 - 31 August 2022

Abstract: The past five years has witnessed the idea of climate adaptation gaining prevalence among Chinese municipalities, with over 370 ‘Sponge City’ projects (which aim to prepare the city for the climate-change-induced rising flood risks) being either proposed or implemented throughout the country (CSUP, 2018). The phenomenon has occurred paradoxically at a time of rising local debt, which has obstructed cities’ investments in other Keynesian’s style of urban infrastructure upgrading such as expanding existing public transportation network. The proposed research will investigate Chinese municipalities’ growing interest in climate adaptation by focusing on the three leading urban regions of Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, and Beijing-Tianjing-Hebei. Research will be carried out through quantitative analyses of statistical data and qualitative studies of the insightful information to be collected through interviews and site-visits. The research will benefit decision-making on China’s urban redevelopment and climate governance in which the XJTLU has strategic interests.

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