Jono, the Zero Emission Pilot Project in Kitakyushu

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This area was once owned by the central government which was then no longer used. The city government then took over and cooperated with one of public companies to develop the area as one of the pilot projects in the Eco-Model City program (later developed into Future City). Kitakyushu is included in 26 cities from all over Japan designated as Eco-Model City.

Jono area planning began in 2009 while construction began in 2011. Funds budgeted to date reach 5.2 billion yen or about half a trillion rupiahs, of which more than half are used to prepare the city’s most important infrastructure i.e. public transportation. Jono Station was renovated so that people can reach Jono area directly and easily on foot.

Since the region’s main function is for residential, the city government was inviting private property companies to develop integrated housing blocks within the area. Masterplan was developed by the main planner interactively by inviting inputs and demands from each property company. Currently it has been built and occupied about 230 housing units and 600 units of public accommodation (read: apartments).

Not only residential, the area is also equipped with parks and large public areas equipped with the concept of recharge pond and urban farming. There are also public building facilities that can be used for various community activities. The regional manager is called a town manager which is an organization called Hitomachi Net, funded by the government and also from self-funding initiatives.

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In the management there are 3 kinds of management elements that are Town Security Management, Green Management, and Energy Management. Well, this last part is very interesting. Because the houses in Jono actually use their own generated energy. There are several alternative of energy sources in each house for their electricity needs.

First, the inhabitants of the house will use a very efficient power source of hydrogen-based energy which emits very low CO2 emissions. This system is referred as ENE-FARM. Then if not enough then the energy from the solar panel will then be used. Only about 30% of the rest rely on electricity from the Kyushu power company. All of these are equipped with a measuring instrument that gathers data of its use to a database facility and then informed to every resident of the house via online as well as applications on smartphones. So that the use of electricity can be controlled easily.

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