Exploring the Key Indicators of Social Impact Assessment for Sponge City PPPs: A Sustainable Development Perspective

Wei Li, Jiyue Guo, Jingfeng Yuan, Henry J. Liu, David J. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Sponge city (SPC) is currently being promoted as an initiative under the principle of sustainable development to solve the urban water crisis across China. Moreover, with the introduction of the public-private partnerships (PPPs) in SPC development, the public’s concern regarding SPC PPPs has increased in terms of their more sophisticated outcomes and greater social impacts than general urban development. Thus, to develop an effective set of SIA key indicators for SPC PPPs, this study uses social impact theory (SIT) to explore in greater detail the influencing mechanism for the social impact assessment (SIA) conceptual model proposed in the authors’ previous studies. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was applied to examine whether the hypothesized relationships in the influencing mechanism fit the empirical data and to further consolidate the SIA key indicators. Based on a survey questionnaire and CFA results, a verified and refined SIA framework using 23 key indicators and five corresponding dimensions was proposed, particularly within the context of SPC PPPs. Implications generated from the CFA were discussed to improve the comprehensive performance of sponge city PPPs. These 23 key indicators and the clarification of their relationships to the respective SIA dimensions and to the overall SIA results can be a useful tool for enhancing the social benefits of SPC PPPs. Moreover, this study also provides governments with insights into enabling the low-impact and sustainable development of infrastructure within urban areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1329
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • public-private partnerships (PPPs)
  • social impact assessment
  • social impact theory
  • sponge city
  • sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the Key Indicators of Social Impact Assessment for Sponge City PPPs: A Sustainable Development Perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this