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General Office of the State Council Issues Guidelines on Promoting the Construction of Sponge Cities
The General Office of the State Council recently issued Guidelines on Promoting the Construction of Sponge Cities (referred to as the Guidelines hereafter) to deploy the construction and development of sponge cities. The Guidelines pointed out that, in coordinating the functions of both the natural ecology and human intervention, sponge cities can effectively control rainwater runoff and realize an urban development mode with natural storage, natural infiltration, and natural purification. This is conducive to restoring the city’s water ecology, conserving water resources, increasing the city’s ability in water-logging prevention, expanding effective investment in public goods, improving the quality of new urbanization, and promoting the harmonious development between human and nature. The Guidelines specified to try to reduce the influence of urban development on ecological environment to the maximum and to recycle or utilize 70% of the rainwater. Till 2020, above 20% of the built districts will reach the targeted requirements and the figure is expected to be over 80% in 2030. Besides, the Guidelines proposed ten specific measures from the four aspects of enhancing the plan guidance, coordinating the orderly construction, improving the supporting policies, and enforcing the organization and implementation. City governments will be the subject of liability in sponge city construction while the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, in collaboration with the Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Water Resources, will guide and supervise the construction work. 

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