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Global Cities

Shimokawa Town, Hokkaido

Shimokawa Town, located in the northern part of Japan, is a local municipality which is 90% covered by the forest and hence is a town rich in natural resources. By sustainably managing its natural resources and circulating them within its boundaries, it aims to become a self-sufficient, resilient society.
The town is recognised for its sustainable forest management efforts and actions to generate new value through local sustainability initiatives. It reached the height of its prosperity around 1960 with 15,555 residents but population declined thereafter, falling to a population of 3400 recently. In 1998, all stakeholders gathered in “the Shimokawa Industrial Cluster Research Group” and produced the Grand Design for Forestry Symbiosis in 2001, laying down the foundation for the development of sustainable community centred around forestry. Selected one of the 29 cities in the SDGs Future City project, initiated by the Cabinet Office, Japan, this city has been leading efforts towards local sustainability. 
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