The Designer Who’s Trying to Transform Your City Into a Sponge

Since 2013, China has embarked on a national policy to turn its growing metropolises into sponge cities, which capture stormwater instead of disposing of it all. As engineered designs slow the flow of that water and allow it to soak into the Earth instead of running away—using rain gardens, spreading grounds, permeable pavers, and urban wetlands—they simultaneously reduce flooding and refill underlying aquifers. One of this concept’s champions, Kongjian Yu, explains the benefits including reducing urban heat, in this interview: by Matt Simon for WIRED MAGAZINE