Stephen Buckle, Studio Director and Vivi Xie, Business Development Manager at ASPECT Studios presented at the Sponge City Trade Mission in February in Kunshan, Jiangsu, China, an event focused on water-sensitive practices within urban areas.
Buckle and Xie discussed the principles of the sponge city, including increased living green space (via plantings, lawns, trees, green roofs and vertical gardens), selection of appropriate tree species and retaining as much water on site as possible (via rain gardens and water tanks). As examples, they also described several ASPECT Studios projects, such as Victorian Desalination Project, One Central Park, The Goods Line, Shanghai Dream Center, Shanghai Vanke Anting Sports Park.
The Sponge City Trade Mission attracted dozens of Chinese and Australian companies with expertise in water-sensitive urban design, water technology and associated infrastructure planning and design to share their professional experience.
Kunshan is recognised as one of the trial sponge cities in Jiangsu and has more than 50 projects under construction or already built based on the Water Sensitive City principles introduced from Australia. In addition, Kunshan has set aside a 23 km2 as a sponge city demonstration zone with over 300 projects, ranging from new and retrofitting urban development, pipe line upgrading, flood infrastructure, roads, park land development, and waterway restoration.
The trade mission, where Chinese and Australian specialists and professionals exchanged their ideas in terms of policy, design, technology and engineering practice, not only helps Kunshan to the extent that China is able to build better sponge cities but also strengthens the cooperation between China and Australia.
The Sponge City Trade Mission was held by Kunshan Government, Victoria State Government, The Australian Water Partnership and CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.