The International Water Association has released a feature article profiling the City of Kunshan, China, and the work in bringing its ‘sponge city’ vision to life. The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities was a major contributor to this landmark project.

Kunshan is in the north-west of Shanghai, is home to more than 2 million people, and is one of the most economically successful county-level administrations in the Jiangsu Province.

The city has a complex landscape and is known as the ‘water city’ for its more than 100 polders and over 1000 kilometres of waterways connected via pumps and gates. Like many other cities, Kunshan faces the challenges of increased urbanisation, rapid economic growth, poor drainage, catchment pollution, degrading water quality, frequent inundation, and climate change that will make stormwater management in the city even more fragile.

To deal with these issues, the City of Kunshan worked with the CRCWSC to develop a city-wide strategy to mitigate the risk of floods and to reduce the urban pollution into regional waterways. Over time and with strong stakeholder partnerships and significant private sector and city agency investment, Kunshan has emerged as a sponge city and catalyzed research and development.

We will be looking at our international projects, including our work in Kunshan, in a special edition of waterSENSE coming soon. In the meantime, take a deep dive into the International Water Association’s excellent expose of this most fascinating water sensitive cities project.

For more information, see our international page.

Last updated: 26th Nov 2020