Kitakyushu City: Mayor Kenji Kitahashi

After overcoming its industrial pollution issues through developing ecotechnology, Kitakyushu City sought to aid developing countries experiencing similar environmental issues. As such, the city has been leading other municipalities in enforcing international environmental cooperation since the 1980s, and its efforts have been highly evaluated globally.

In 2018, selected as a “SDGs FutureCity”, we are conducting "Local Government SDGs model projects" as a leading initiative. We are also designated as “SDG's global model city" by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the first time in Asia.

By applying its experience and know-how that it has accumulated, Kitakyushu City aims to work hand-in-hand with other ICLEI members in order to realize a sustainable global society.

Overview of Kitakyushu City


Population:941,239(As of 1 May 2019)

Kitakyushu City is situated at the gateway of the Kyushu region, between Honshu and Kyushu, and is geographically important for land and sea transportation of goods. Because of the city’s unique spatial context, in the modern era, it has developed as a city of manufacturing, supporting Japan’s industrialization. Beginning with raw materials such as iron, steel and chemicals, a wide range of industries such as for electronic appliances, machines, semiconductors, vehicles, have accumulated. In recent years, innovation of energy conservation technology and eco-products have also been flourishing.

Environmental initiatives

The city has developed the Kitakyushu Model, which combines technology and know-how from the citys own experience in transforming from a polluted city to an environmental city. By proactively exporting environmentally friendly infrastructure such as waste disposal and water management, Kitakyushu is working towards the development of a low-carbon society.

Since 2014, Kitakyushu City has engaged in city-to-city cooperation with Chinese cities in order to mitigate air pollution. In order to address pollutants such as PM2.5 in particular, the city has implemented measures such as conducting research cooperatively, dispatching experts, and inviting Chinese people to engage in training programs.

We aim to achieve ‘SDGs leading city’ by creating “regional energy hub’ including offshore wind power, by promoting hydrogen society, and by developing human resource through ESD maximizing our expertise on citizenship and manufacturing technology.

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