JOHOR BARU: The Iskandar Regional Davelopment Authority (IRDA) is teaming up with Japan’s Toyama City to explore “FutureCity” initiatives.
This is part of its strategy in developing Iskandar Malaysia into a strong and sustainable metropolis in the future.
Both parties are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) later today in conjunction with the International Forum on “FutureCity” held at the Thistle Hotel here.
Chief Executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim will represent IRDA at the signing ceremony, and Toyama City by its Mayor, Masashi Mori.
Ismail said the initiatives are in line with efforts towards developing Iskandar Malaysia.
“We can learn much from an advanced country like Japan, particularly on how its capital city Tokyo, is addressing and handling climate change.
“We are planning to learn from Toyama City and will try to adapt its lessons for Iskandar Malaysia,” he said in a statement here.
IRDA and Toyoma city are expected to explore projects such as the hydroelectric generation system and public transportation, especially in regards to technology and human resources.
The one-day forum was hosted by IRDA and attended by about 250 local and overseas experts. – Bernama
Background and significance of the FCI
The FCI was launched in 2011 and is now in its third year. It is being promoted by the national government’s Cabinet Office, and 11 cities have been authorized as “Future Cities” as of March 2014.
Japan is known as a country that is already facing challenges that other countries will be facing in the future, and one problem it is now facing is a decreasing birthrate and the rapid aging of its population. It is projected that in 2050, seniors over the age of 65 will comprise 40% of the population. It is an urgent task for Japan to realize cities and regional population centers that maintain their social vitality so that senior citizens can live fruitful, healthy and secure lives. In the near future, many countries, starting in Asia, are expected to experience the same challenge of an aging society. Japan’s experiences in tackling this problem will provide meaningful lessons on this common challenge for humanity.
In making cities into a source of social energy, it is extremely important for stakeholders to mutually recognize the problems, organize them in a comprehensive way, and think about frameworks that can help common human challenges such as environmental problems, aging, and the need to revitalize economies and societies.
The Cabinet Office has also been promoting the Eco-Model City initiative to realize low-carbon cities. These two initiatives were re-organized in March 2013, as shown in Figure 1, so that the Eco-Model City initiative will be integrated into the FutureCity Initiative, and Future Cities will be selected from Eco-Model Cities.
Basic Concept of the Initiative
The FCI’s basic concept is to create cities that embrace new people-friendly values in order to deal with environmental issues and the aging society. Its goal is to solve problems being faced by Japan and the world such as global warming, resource and energy constraints, and aging societies through establishing sustainable social and economic systems and recovering social solidarity. At the same time, it will be necessary to increase the quality of life and make cities into places where anyone would want to live and where everyone enjoys vitality as new sources of value continually come into being.
To realize a sustainable society, it will be essential to take environmental, social and economic values into consideration. A Future City where anyone would want to live and everyone enjoys vitality is defined as a city where environmental, social and economic values are being innovatively enhanced. The basic premise of a Future City calls for the attainment of a certain level of enhanced value in each of these three aspects of life.