Metro City Government Official Visit to Kitakyushu City, Japan 12 – 19 May 2014 – Yerri Noer Kartiko
As one of the continuous efforts in human resources capacity and capability building in the protection and management of the environment and preservation of natural resources, the Metro City Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Kitakyushu, Japan on May 15, 2014.
Given this precious opportunity, the departure of Metro City Government delegation led by the Mayor of Metro, Lukman Hakim, SH, MM was not only to sign the MoU alone, but also to hold meetings and discussions with several important institutions related to the environment in the city of Kitakyushu.
Why should it be Kitakyushu City? Because based on the facts, Kitakyushu City today has managed to build an environmentally friendly city. The city has managed to transform itself from an industrial town with the hazardous level of environmental pollution load turning to be an industrial city that is environmentally friendly and green at the same time. Then, why should it also be The University of Kitakyushu? Because behind the successful development of Kitakyushu City, there were many important and significant roles by The University of Kitakyushu through the scientific support from researches and ideas which are patterned, systematic and integrated.
Figure 1. The city of Kitakyushu in the Fukuoka prefecture
Nowadays, the City of Kitakyushu becomes a pilot city for cities around the world, that want to be more environmentally-friendly. There have been many cities from Asian countries, particularly Indonesia, which were learning from the success of Kitakyushu City, such as Surabaya, Palembang, Medan and Balikpapan.
Metro City Government, in the last five years, has never stopped learning to build, develop the quality and quantity of infrastructures and regulations that support the development of environmentally-friendly city. Metro City Government hopes to emulate and graft the success of Kitakyushu City, so the development of Metro City increasingly leads to the creation of environmentally-friendly urban development, and becomes a pioneer to build a better quality of living environment of the world, with the ultimate goal is the welfare of all humankind, especially people who live in Metro City. Metro City government does not want to fall behind, does not want to be late to follow the footsteps of the successful development of environmentally-friendly city that has been proven by Kitakyushu City.
The following is an official visiting report made by the State Government delegation led by the Mayor of Metro City to Kitakyushu, Japan on 12-19 May 2014.
First Day (Tuesday, May 13, 2014)
Visited several places in the area around Fukuoka. Some important things that can be used as learning materials and input in the development of the future Metro city, are:
- Wide sidewalk/pedestrian areas, consisting of bike paths, pedestrian paths, paths for pedestrians with special needs, green line;
- Parking pockets area, consisting of regular models, multistories models of hydraulic system, or underground, with expensive parking fees (to discourage the use of motorized vehicles);
- Public facilities such as public toilets are clean and well maintained, with other complementary equipments, such as clean water flow and tissue paper;
- Parks equipped with comfortable seats and children’s playing facilities;
- Parks with the concept of urban forest park forest at the same time nursery education flower garden also equipped with ponds / small lakes as a means of rainwater;
- Street lighting and traffic lights sourced electricity comes from solar panels;
- Urban waste management and facilities that are integrated and implemented by all parties, both government and society.
Day Two (Wednesday, May 14, 2014)
Visiting and touring the campus of the University of Kitakyushu, located in two different places, namely: the main campus in Kitagata, Kokura Minami (consisting of the non-exact faculties) and in Hibikino, Wakamatsu (faculty of environmental engineering and graduate school of environmental engineering). The university is one of the public university in Fukuoka Prefecture, which was founded in 1946 and successfully grown rapidly to amongst the top over the 730 universities in Japan according to the 2008 University Regional Contribution Ranking.
Figure 2. Metro City delegation in front of the Faculty of Environmental Engineering, the University of Kitakyushu
Day Three (Thursday, May 15, 2014)
MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) Signing
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Metro City (represented by the Metro Mayor, Lukman Hakim, SH, MM) and Department of Architecture, Faculty of Environmental Engineering, the University of Kitakyushu (represented by Professor Hiroatsu Fukuda). The signing was witnessed by two other professors, namely Professor Weijun Gao and Professor Bart Dewancker.
This MoU is a huge umbrella that will embody the activities of cooperation between the two institutions, especially in the field of sustainable and low carbon city planning, environmental management and protection, natural resource conservation, and urban waste management. This MoU is expected to be the initial step for the Metro City Government to propose and send some employees to build the capacity and competence, not only through formal education (master/doctoral program), but also through training, workshop, and other academic activities available. One program that has been prepared is the Low Carbon Education program organized by the Asian Institute of Low Carbon Design, which is one of the research centers at the University of Kitakyushu, chaired by Professor Soichiro Kuroki.
Figure 3. The MoU Signing between the Metro Mayor, Lukman Hakim with the Head of Department of Architecture, Faculty of Environmental Engineering, University of Kitakyushu Professor Hiroatsu Fukuda
Expose of the Environmental Development Program in Metro City
Mayor Metro delivered a presentation about the Environmental Development Program in Metro City – successes, challenges, barriers, future action plans in the presence of the professors and masters and doctoral students Department of Architecture, Faculty of Environmental Engineering, University of Kitakyushu.
There were some of the suggestions and feedbacks from professors and students, such as: the need for development of city forests, regulating logging and replanting trees, regulating the use of ground water resource, settings irrigation and preserving the paddy fields and green open spaces.
Figure 4. Metro Mayor was giving a presentation about the environmental development in Metro City
A visit to the Ecotown area in Hibikinada, Kitakyushu
Eco-town Hibikinada is one of the pilot areas that have successfully implemented waste management, particularly industrial waste and become the center of the recycling industry and environmental education. In this area, many green energy centers also were developed from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. This area is one of 26 pilot areas of Eco-town that the Japanese government has been developed across the country. In this area also a wide range of unused electronic equipments, such as copy machines and even motorized vehicles which have been recycled to raw materials for the automotive industry and other industries.
Figure 5. Metro Mayor visited Ecotown area, Kitakyushu
A visit to the Environmental Laboratory Co JPEC., Ltd. Wakamatsu Environment Research Institute
In this place it was held face to face discussion with Koji Takakura, inventor of the Takakura composting method. The Mayor and Takakura-san discussed the materials and methods of making compost which are more effective and efficient in accordance with the type of soil and the crop to be planted. In addition to discussions, Takakura-san also took the Metro delegation around and showed the environmental laboratories and facilities that support research activities, particularly in the field of composting.
Figure 6. Metro Mayor was discussing with the inventor of the Takakura Composting method
Day Four (Friday, May 16, 2014)
Visit and meeting with Kitakyushu Asian Center for Low Carbon Society
Kitakyushu Asian Center for Low Carbon Society, represented by Kengo Ishida (Secretary General) and Takayuki Yamashita (Bussiness Support Manager) discussed with the Metro City government delegation about the efforts that have been undertaken by the City of Kitakyushu in realizing the city with low carbon emission, one way was by improving the quality of the manufacturing process, the quality of equipment, management of emission and waste water. Representatives of the Asian Center for Low Carbon Society on this occasion invited the Metro City representatives to participate at the seminar on composting to be held in Medan in July of 2014.
Figure 7. The discussion between the Mayor Metro with Kitakyushu Asian Center for Low Carbon Society
Visit and meeting with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) Kitakyushu Urban Center
IGES Kitakyushu Urban Center, represented by Dr. Toshizo Maeda, Simon Gilby, Masahiro Nakamura, Huang Jian, discussed several possible cooperations to be established between the Government of Japan and the Government of Metro City in terms of the environmental development. Besides being able to use the framework of sister city with several cities that have similar size, topography and demographics as well as relatively similar problem, the City Metro is also advised to try the grass root schemes or voluntary program organized by the JICA program and to become a member of one of the cities organizations in the world, such as Citynet, ICLEI and others.
Figure 8. The meeting and discussion between the Metro Mayor and Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) Kitakyushu Urban Center
Visit and meeting with the Environment Bureau City of Kitakyushu
Environment Bureau, City of Kitakyushu, represented by Matsuoka Toshikazu (Chief Executive) and Seiko Kubo (Director of International Environmental Strategies Division) discussed the roles and responsibilities of the Environment Bureau City of Kitakyushu in the environmental management and protection in Kitakyushu City. One of the main capital is strong cooperation between the government and society. In addition to discussions, it was also demonstrated the supporting infrastructure in real-time activity monitoring and early warning system of the industrial emission.
Figure 9. The meeting and discussion between the Metro Mayor and Environment Bureau, City of Kitakyushu
Figure 10. Mayor of Metro City, Mr. Lukman Hakim with Mr. Matsuoka Toshikazu, Chief Executive of Environment Bureau, City of Kitakyushu
Day Five (Saturday, May 17, 2014)
Metro City delegation attended The Second Higashida Conference on Sustainability organized by NPO Satoyama with the theme of community and sharing resources, building capacity and capability of communities to support the success of environmental development. In this seminar it was also presented the development of sustainable development in Metro City with the title “Mainstreaming Modest Sustainable Development in Metro City, Lampung.
Figure 8. Metro Mayor was the 2nd Higashida Conference on Sustainability
Hopefully what has been taken by the Metro City Government is a very important first step, in addition to enhance and strengthen global cooperation with various parties in the future, also be a trigger and a driver, new ammunition for the government of Metro City to continue to create and perform various new breakthroughs for the protection and management of environment in Metro City, in order to achieve sustainable and environmentally-friendly development as well as a pioneer and an example for other cities, particularly in Lampung Province.