Manila, Philippines – Kitakyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture is a city of a million people in the island of Kyushu, Japan. It was called “Iron Town “during Japan’s modernization and high economic growth in the 1960s, and was one of the four largest industrial zones with many iron foundries. However, the environmental pollution of air and water were of such extent that the bay was called the “Sea of Death”.
In 1971, the city of Kitakyushu founded the Environmental Pollution Control Ordinance to prevent further pollution. In addition, the city drove forward a large-scale urban greening movement in accordance with the “Green Kitakyushu Plan”.
These measures to prevent pollution, and preserve the environment together with residents’ environmental protection efforts yielded good results. In July 2011, the city was introduced to the world as an example of a city transformed from a “Gray city” to a “Green city”.
The city’s Eco-town project is aiming to “see all waste as material for other industries, reduce waste as much as possible (zero emission)”, and foster a resource – recycling society. In the Hibikinada area, for example, there are various recycling businesses engaging in PET bottles, electric appliances, automobiles and other recyclable wastes as well as research organizations conducting research and development on the most advanced waste disposal and recycling technologies.
The Hydrogen Town project was launched in January 2011. The steel industry in the city generates about 500 million cubic meters a year of hydrogen as a byproduct. The gas is isolated and piped out for heat generation by households using subsidized power generators. The city also has public transport fuelled by hydrogen, while automotive manufacturers are working on introducing hydrogen-powered cars. More hydrogen recharging stations will be established.