The 2018 International Sponge City Conference kicked off at the Great Hall of Shaanxi on September 9, 2018. A series of keynote speeches were delivered at the opening ceremony. Shaanxi Channel of CRI Online interviewed three overseas experts to gain their insight into the future trends of sponge city development.
Asaad Shamseldin, Associate Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland , being interviewed by Shaanxi Channel of CRI Online (Photo by Ma Shuyuan)
According to Asaad Shamseldin, although New Zealand does not have plans in place in the exact framework of “sponge city development”, the country has instituted a similar system for urban planning that has operated with great success. Professor Shamseldin said that the 2018 International Sponge City Conference provides a fantastic platform for experts and scholars from around the world to engage with each other and share ideas, and that it will contribute significantly through academic research and leadership to the development of sponge cities in the respective countries and regions.
John.C Radcliffe, former Deputy Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, being interviewed by Shaanxi Channel of CRI Online (Photo by Ma Shuyuan)
John.C Radcliffe pointed out that the concept of “Sponge City” can trace its roots back to Australia where its second-most populous city Melbourne serves as an ideal model. He said that during the construction of sponge cities in each and every region, top priority should be given to preserving the ecological environment, and that natural processes and human efforts should be combined in order to better utilize the rainwater resources and protect the local ecosystem.
Cedo Maksimovic, Professor Emeritus of Hydraulic Engineering of Imperial College London, being interviewed by Shaanxi Channel of CRI Online (Photo by Ma Shuyuan)
Cedo Maksimovic said that Sponge City marks a good start for further cooperation and exchange in environmental and ecological protection with the ultimate aim of promoting the healthy development of the global ecological environment. He added that at the same time, Sponge City, as an emerging concept, will become a new multidisciplinary term as its impact and influence spread to other fields.