Developing a sponge catchment management framework with natural flood management in Guiyang, Southwest China

  • Yunfei QI

Student thesis: PhD Thesis


Catchment flood events have become more challenging for humans due to rapid and intensive urbanisation and climate change. Before 2010, Low Impact Development (LID) had inspired China to consider the ecological transformation of urban plans and construction. Then, China officially announced to start Sponge City Programme (SCP) in 2013. The SCP can store part of the initial rainwater while enhancing sustainable urban development by providing a
variety of co-benefits. However, the designing characteristics of SCP infrastructures are mainly to reduce urban pluvial risks at specific locations. In 2021, the damaging flood events in Zhengzhou (China) and Oberhausen (Germany) reflected the necessity of managing floods at a catchment level. The inborn features of SCP have brought concerns to authorities and academics in managing larger-scale fluvial floods after many fluvial flood events. Natural
Flood Management (NFM) is an environmental-friendly principle to improve flood adaptation on upstream-rural and downstream-urban catchments using Nature-Based Solutions (NBS). Enlightened by NFM, this research developed an innovative catchment managing framework that merges the Natural Flood Management (NFM), Grey-Leading Infrastructures (GIs), and Sponge City Programme (SCP), namely Sponge Catchment Management Framework (SCMF). The proposed SCMF novelty provides an opportunity to expand sponge conceptsto a catchment scale by integrating NFM and GIs. This research also evaluated the SCMF via a Guiyang case study, Focus Groups (FGs) and Semi-Structured Interviews (SSIs) to understand stakeholders’ perspectives on SCMF. The SCMF and research results can contribute to other sponge cities to
improve flood resilience on a catchment scale.
Date of AwardJul 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Nottingham
SupervisorFaith Chan (Supervisor), Meili Feng (Supervisor) & Colin Thorne (Supervisor)


  • Sponge Cit
  • Sponge City Programme (SCP)
  • Sponge Catchment Management Framework (SCMF)
  • Natural Flood Management (NFM)

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