TNC is collaborating with city officials to transform Shenzhen into an innovative, cost-effective “sponge city.”
Sponge City Rooftop garden in Shenzhen. © Yang Xu

Stories in Hong Kong

Hong Kong and Our Cities Work

TNC is collaborating with city officials to transform Shenzhen into an innovative, cost-effective “sponge city.”

By mid-century, 2 out of every 3 people will call cities home. This historic urban growth, coupled with a changing climate, calls for us to team up with communities to ensure a future where nature and people thrive in cities.

Just across the boarder of Hong Kong is Shenzhen, China where we are working to build a "sponge city." The number of Chinese cities affected by floods has more than doubled since 2008.

Why? Concrete jungles are mazes of impermeable surfaces that don’t absorb water, which exacerbates flooding and runoff during storms. This dirty water gets funneled into rivers and oceans, harming wildlife and reducing the supply available to city residents. For highly populated cities like Shenzhen, both improperly managed storm water runoff and water shortages during extreme droughts jeopardize human access to fresh water.

TNC is collaborating with city officials to transform Shenzhen into an innovative, cost-effective “sponge city.” By planting more vegetation all around the city — on roofs, along sidewalks and in parks—we are helping the city become a sponge that retains and filters rainwater, sustaining a clean supply for expanding communities and making Shenzhen itself a safer and healthier place to live.

Shenzhen, China See how Shenzhen is becoming a sponge city.