20.08.2018

Sustainable Forest Future Community "Ichinohashi" Bio-Village of Shimokawa town

A small and snowy community "Ichinohashi Bio-Village" is renovated by implementation of collective housing and woody biomass district heat supply system, and by production of mushroom and medical plants in greenhouses with the heat.

Problem

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.

Solution

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.

Innovation

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.

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