Sponge cities: a solarpunk future by 2030 | Future Explored by Freethink

Cities turning themselves into sponges? See how cities like Berlin are leading the trend. With Future Explored host, Tom Carroll

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What happens when a city experiences a lot of rain? Instead of seeping into the ground as it would in a forest or grassland, all the water has nowhere to go. After a large storm that disrupts a city’s drainage system, the precipitation ends up floating, often causing destructive flooding.

But what if we could build stunning cities that act like sponges and save thousands of lives along the way? Well, Germany and China are already underway in creating those systems.

These systems are known as Sponge cities. Sponge cities use green architecture solutions designed to soak up excess water, just like a sponge. Sponge cities are made up of absorbent pavement and roads, large green spaces filled with interconnected waterways, and areas that act like parks when dry but wetlands when water needs a little extra space.

Watch on Freethink.com ► https://www.freethink.com/series/future-explored/sponge-cities

0:00 – A solarpunk future by 2030?
0:13 – Our urban flooding problem
1:46 – What are “Sponge Cities”?
2:40 – The benefits of Sponge Cities
3:31 – So, where are all the Sponge Cities?
4:30 – What’s the catch?
4:53 – What’s the cost?
6:14 – Preparing for the future
7:04 – Credits


About Tom Carroll
Tom is the host and creator of our Future Explored TikTok and YouTube series where he shares an optimistic view of the future to hundreds of thousands of followers.

With a degree in Biological Sciences Tom likes to focus on nature-based innovations and solutions that change the way we think about moving forward as a species.

Subscribe to Tom on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/tomcarroll-yt
And follow him on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the.Tom.Car

Read more of our stories on the future of cities:
Can sponge cities help us prepare for more floods?
Is it time for a new American city?
Reclaiming city spaces with “tactical urbanism”

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► Just Might Work: https://freeth.ink/youtube-just-might-work
► Challengers: https://freeth.ink/youtube-challengers

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