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Identifying critical risks in Sponge City PPP projects using DEMATEL method: A case study of China

Zhang, Lin, Sun, Xuejie, Xue, Hong
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.226 pp. 949-958
capital, case studies, decision making, developing countries, local government, risk factors, water shortages, watersheds, China
Sponge City (SC) projects offer an effective measure for coping with frequent occurrence of urban flooding as well as water shortage. In China, enormous demand for urban regeneration and short of capital has precipitated the growth of public–private capitalhip (PPP) mode for achieving urban sustainability. Generally, risk identification is perceived as a crucial step as to ensure the success of PPP mode. However, little attention has been paid to identify critical risks in Sponge City PPP projects for emerging countries, for example China. This paper aims to investigate the critical risk factors of Sponge City PPP projects in the context of China. The list of risk factors used for analysis are gathered from literature review, research group brainstorming, and expert interview. Decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method is employed in the study to prioritize the risks and then analyze interdependence between them as to recognize critical risks. The research results show that inadequate supervision system (C1), government intervention (C2), immature law and regulations (C5), project fragmentation (C13), and unclear boundary of catchment area (C14) are the critical risk factors. The findings in this study can provide helpful references not only for the local government to adopt management measures for promoting sustainable SC projects, but also for private capital to effectively mitigate risks in future SC projects.