Maintenance and Safety of Sponge City Infrastructure

  • Stephan KösterEmail author
Part of the Future City book series (FUCI, volume 12)


Sponge City development is embedded in a realignment of urban development with a strict focus on water. In recent years, especially China has undertaken many concrete efforts and high investments in order to promote the Sponge City approach and to galvanize the decision makers to action. China aims at shaping water sponging cities to better cope with climate change and to especially mitigate negative impacts of extreme rainfalls on urban spaces. However, the advantages of green and spongy cities only will develop their full potential if operation and maintenance (O&M) are performed adequately and accurately. Especially, maintenance must be seen as a core element of asset management. In the Sponge City case, adapted preventive maintenance strategies should be pursued comprehensively considering the local (climatic) circumstances so that unnecessary performance losses and further negative side effects do not occur in the Sponge City infrastructure. Sufficient financial resources must be available for this task. In order to minimize future efforts and costs, the findings from previous maintenance activities will be crucial for design modifications or adjustments. Maintenance in Sponge City environments stimulates innovation, assures feedback, shows weak points, enhances reliability, and provides reason to improve the entire urban water system (including the underground infrastructure). If the implementation is successful, the Sponge City might be the starting point for further developments that fuel urban transformation.


Sponge City development Asset management Urban water infrastructure Operation and maintenance Best practice 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Waste ManagementLeibniz University HannoverHanoverGermany

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