Collaboration and partnership are crucial to the success of the 100 Resilient Cities Network, in delivering tangible benefits to city residents across the world. They are also at the heart of the action-oriented research that the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) conducts to make the Asia-Pacific region more sustainable. In this respect, both organisations achieved a significant milestone when the 100RC and IGES partner cities of Toyama, Japan and Semarang, Indonesia signed a letter of intent (LOI) to cooperate on sustainable low carbon development. The LOI was then publicised at a Toyama City-sponsored event, “Intercity Collaboration Forum for Low Carbon Societies” held on Thursday, 14 December 2017, that hosted Mayors from both cities, as well as national and local policy makers from across the region–including the Japanese Ministry of the Environment (MOEJ). The Forum also provided an opportunity to share Toyama’s plans to promote climate smart transportation and energy projects in Semarang. The signing was especially momentous as Toyama and Semarang were the first designated 100RC member cities within their respective countries.
A recognised leader in urban environmental management, Toyama City has been awarded numerous accolades for its sustainability efforts, including being designated as an Eco-Model City in 2008 and a Future City in 2011 by the Japanese government and an exemplary compact city by the OECD. Created in partnership with 100RC, Toyama City’s Resilience Strategy carries forward the progress the municipality has made with regard to efficient land use and transport planning over the past two decades, while providing a framework for addressing challenges with demographic shifts and aging infrastructure.
Through its work with 100RC, Semarang identified increasing population growth, traffic congestion and urban sprawl as contributing to air pollution, climate change, and health concerns in its City Resilience Strategy. IGES began to provide technical support to Semarang to address these problems approximately two years ago with funding from the MOEJ and the help of 100RC as well as many other partners. The results of those efforts are helping Semarang improve the performance of its public transport system while reducing greenhouse gases and air pollutants in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). IGES’s efforts in Semarang led the MOEJ to take a greater interest in supporting city-to-city collaboration with Toyama City, which was instrumental to the LOI.
The Toyama-Semarang agreement outlines specific areas of cooperation for improving Semarang City’s urban infrastructure, particularly in the transport and energy sectors. Key components of the LOI include redesigning and retrofitting the existing public transportation system, supporting energy efficiency, and introducing renewable energy technologies, such as micro-hydro, solar and biomass. These activities are strategically aligned with planned actions to improve mobility and connectivity led by IGES and local Indonesian partners in the coming years.
For more information about this or other IGES projects, please contact:
Dr. Sudarmanto Budi Nugroho
Research Manager, IGES City Task Force
Mr. Junichi Fujino
Programme Director, IGES City Task Force
Dr. Eric Zusman
Research Leader, IGES Sustainability Governance Centre