Stage 4: Transition to Scale
The population decline of "Ichinohashi Bio-Village" has stopped in these 5 years. They created over 30 new job opportunities and annual 0.7 million dollar production. This community model could be adapted to whole town or other communities.
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Biomass/BioFuel, Housing and Infrastructure, Economic Recovery and 1 MoreSEE ALL
Biomass/BioFuel, Housing and Infrastructure, Economic Recovery and ForestrySEE LESS
Shimokawa town is located in northern inland area in Hokkaido island of JAPAN.
"Ichinohashi Bio-Village" is a small district of Shimokawa town.
Population of "Ichinohash Bio-Village" was 95, and aging rate was 52.6% at 2010.
Population decline caused the closing of shops and weakening of social partnership.
Aged people had difficulty to remove heavy snow and to pay for the fuel oil for heating because this community was located in snowy and cold area.
Shimokawa town government implemented new collective housing area including community restaurant and mini-shop with woody-biomass district heat supply system.
Furthermore, greenhouse facilities for mushroom and medical plants production were constructed to create economical base for community with the heat.
Young people support the aged people by delivering meal and monitoring health condition in collective housing area.
This solution is firstly for the self-development of the inhabitants of "Ichinohashi Bio-Village".
Additionally, all inhabitants of Shimokawa town could receive the benefit of this solution by the allocation of the benefit from the biomass boilers to child care.
Furthermore, this could be adapted to whole town or other communities of the world.
Mission and Vision
This solution is a best practice of sustainable community development against super-aging, energy dependence and decline of regional economy.
Shimokawa town government have the vision for sustainable development by energy self-sufficiency, forest comprehensive industry and life system responding to the super-aging society.
Moreover, the successful models could be spread to small cities and communities of Japan and the world.
The quality of life of the inhabitants of "Ichinohashi Bio-Village", especially the aged people, were definitely improved. Their energy cost for heat decreased by super-insulated houses and utilization of regional biomass fuel. Also, the convenience of their daily life and the participation for community activities were improved.
Notably, the population decline of "Ichinohashi Bio-Village" has stopped in these 5 years. They created over 30 new job opportunities for local people and annual 0.7 million dollar production of mushroom.
Moreover, many young challengers, who have skill of wood craft, herbal cosmetics and nursing care, have immigrated from other cities because they have been attracted by these efforts toward realization of sustainable community.
Additionally, several woody biomass district heat supply system has been implemented in central area of Shimokawa town by adapting this solution, so the rate of energy self-sufficiency for heat is 49%.
These utilization of woody biomass has made additional income for forestry and forest industry.
Currently, these achievements were highly recognized to receive the first Japan's SDGs Award in 2017.
This solution is faithfully based on local resource, industry and history.
Shimokawa town has developed circular forest management system and forest industry which waste no part of timber. The utilization of woody biomass was not eccentric for this town even if it were the new technology. It has lead to continuous revitalization of "Ichinohashi Bio-Village" and self-development of inhabitants.
Furthermore, this solution is an integrated approach toward sustainable community, which create value of environment, social and economy.