The Demographic Implication for Promoting Sponge City Initiatives in the Chinese Megacities: A Case of Wuhan

Shan Zheng, Yuting Tang, Faith Ka Shun Chan, Liyong Cao, Ruixiang Song

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Urbanisation and ever-intensified rainstorms exacerbated urban waterlogging in some Chinese cities. In 2013, the Chinese government proposed a nationwide initiative, Sponge City, for managing the flood risk using the nature-based solution (NBS) approach. Pilot projects have been implemented among thirty selected cities, including Wuhan. Because the effectiveness of implementing NBS relies on the participation of the well-informed public, this study aims at identifying the factors affecting the awareness of the public about the Sponge City program. The viewpoint of people in Wuhan on urban floods and the Sponge City initiatives was surveyed among 1600 participants using a face-to-face questionnaire in mostly Wuchang area of Wuhan; more than 900 of them were further interviewed. The majority of participants, though recognising the threats from flooding, were lacking awareness and understanding of the Sponge City initiatives. The Chi-square analyses of association revealed that the level of awareness is affected by education, age and residential time; these demographic factors also affected their interpretation of the direct experiences of the water environment and governmental water management. To optimise communicating the relevant policy to the public, the content and the advertising tools for promoting Sponge City may need to be mindfully customised for targeted demographic groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number883
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Environmental Perception
  • Nature-based solution
  • Public participation
  • Sponge City
  • Urban flooding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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