Iida City is a self-declared “environmental and cultural city,” and so, while constantly reviewing the relationships between human beings and nature, we implement environmental policies aiming to create a city where all activities--from daily life to industrial development--harmonize with the environment. In particular, because the Linear Chuo Shinkansen is planning to stop at Iida, we will be working to create a vibrant yet sustainable community through collaboration with citizens so that we can ensure harmony between our development and the environment.
By making the most of the city’s rich renewable resources and the strength of our ties that we have developed through community activities, we are collaborating with citizens to push for “decentralized energy autonomy,” a project to encourage them to participate in the energy business on their own initiative.
Population: Approx. 105,000 (2014)
Situated in the center of Japan, Iida City is stretched across the country’s largest valley with the Southern Japanese Alps rising to the east, the Central Japanese Alps to the west, and the Tenryu River running through the valley from north to south. It is blessed with lots of nature, fascinating landscapes, and changes in the seasons and a climate with a diverse range of animals and plants.
Since early on, Iida has enjoyed accessibility to land and water transport and has prospered as an important hub of east-west and north-south transport. It has also achieved unique economic and culturally, and its various forms of folk art such as kagura (sacred Shinto music and dancing) and the joruri puppet theater are still very much alive in the lives of people. Iida’s development had been driven by traditional industries, but today, the city has high-tech industries that have incorporated leading-edge technology. Other prosperous industries include food production centered on semi-perishable sweets, pickles, miso, and Japanese sake, as well as agriculture centered on Ichida persimmons, apples, and pears.
In 1914, local residents installed a small hydroelectric power generation system, forming the nation’s first union of electricity users. Thus, in Iida City, renewable energy has been produced by its people and for its people. Characterized by this tradition, the city government has collaborated with private NPOs while emphasizing its unity with local residents and has taken initiative to spread the use of solar and other types of renewable energy since early on. .
Today, the city guarantees its citizens regional environmental rights by its ordinance. The mayor authorizes efforts by various citizen-centric entities to develop communities through renewable energy as “regional public renewable energy utilization projects” and supports these operations as public-private partnership projects.