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Kongjian Yu’s 'sponge cities' design wins a major prize

Kongjian Yu, a renowned landscape architect, has been awarded the 2023 Oberlander Prize for his innovative "sponge city" designs. These groundbreaking concepts, inspired by traditional Chinese water management practices, aim to transform cities into resilient ecosystems that can effectively absorb and manage stormwater, mitigating the risk of flooding.

The concept of sponge cities

Yu's sponge city concept draws inspiration from the meandering irrigation systems and village ponds that once characterized China's rural landscape. These natural systems effectively slowed down and retained water, preventing flooding and preserving biodiversity.

Kongjian Yu's design embraces nature's resilience

Yu's sponge city designs replicate these natural processes, incorporating permeable pavements, graceful gardens, elegant wetlands, and underground water storage tanks. These elements work together to absorb excess stormwater, purify water, and replenish groundwater, creating a more resilient urban landscape.

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