Kitakyushu City, Japan

Hitomi NAKANISHI, Hisashi Shibata

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookOther chapter contributionpeer-review


The City of Kitakyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture is the 13th largest city in Japan. Located on Kyushu island just south of the Japanese main island, it is regarded as a gateway to Asian economies. The city was developed by the steel industry in the modern era (1900s), and grew to become one of the largest industrial zones in Japan. However, by the 1950s and 1960s, its rapid development had led to air and water pollution (Photo 7.2). The Dokai Bay area was contaminated by factory emissions and industrial and domestic wastewater, and came to be dubbed the ‘sea of death’. The local administration was forced to act, and the city dramatically recovered from the environmental degradation. Kitakyushu set out to become the World Capital of Sustainable Development; and it became known for its sustainability initiatives, many of which involved partnerships with residents, enterprises, research institutes and government administrations.
This chapter illustrates Kitakyushu’s concept of urban management, exemplified by the Energetic Kitakyushu Plan.Secondary data sourced from the City of Kitakyushu and academic articles were drawn upon for this case study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPartnerships for the Sustainable Development of Cities in the APEC Region, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
PublisherAPEC Policy Support Unit
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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