Harnessing the runoff reduction potential of urban bioswales as an adaptation response to climate change

Lingwen Lu, Matthew Johnson, Fangfang Zhu, Yaoyang Xu, Tian Ruan, Faith Ka Shun Chan

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Nature-based solutions (NbS), including China's Sponge City Program (SCP), can address the challenges urban communities face due to surface runoff and flooding. The current capacity of SCP facilities in urban environments falls short of meeting the demands placed on communities by climate change. Bioswales are a form of SCP facility that plays an important role in reducing surface runoff by promoting infiltration. This study assesses the potential of SCP facilities to reduce runoff in urban communities under climate change using the storm water management model. The study site in Ningbo, China, was used to evaluate the potential role of bioswales in reducing runoff risks from climate change. We found that bioswales were most effective in scenarios when rainfall peaks occurred early and were less effective in right-skewed rainfall events. The overall performance of SCP facilities was similar across all climate scenarios. To maintain the current protection level of SCP facilities, bioswales would need to cover at least 4% of the catchment area. These findings from Ningbo provide a useful method for assessing NbS in other regions and indicative values for the increase in the bioswale coverage needed to adapt to climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12207
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Harnessing the runoff reduction potential of urban bioswales as an adaptation response to climate change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this