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Why China Wants to Build Something Called 'Sponge Cities'

China’s central government has an ambitious green infrastructure plan. But will the results live up to the rhetoric?
Yanweizhou Park in Jinhua, eastern China, is the type of green-infrastructure project the Chinese government prioritizes.
Yanweizhou Park in Jinhua, eastern China, is the type of green-infrastructure project the Chinese government prioritizes.Turenscape

Could sponge cities be the answer to China’s floods?

Three years ago, when flooding in Beijing killed 79 people, the Chinese government was quick to blame the size of the storm, not the city’s failing drainage system. But the excuse didn’t persuade the public. News reports of fatal floods come as regularly to city dwellers as the annual monsoon season.