In 2018, the Scottish Government and the City of Yokohama shared the philosophy of “growing together” in a joint declaration on interchange and collaboration.
The two bodies are currently fruitful partnerships in culture, tourism, marine industries, sports, inter-university exchanges, and, importantly, both bodies share the same values when it comes to SDGs.
In 2020, the Scottish International Development Agency participated in the virtual “Yokohama Sea Expo 2020”, while the Scottish Government and the City of Yokohama are both working to protect the global environment and aiming for true sustainable development.
But what has Yokohama achieved up till now?
Yokohama SDGs Design Centre promotes sustainability
Yokohama City established Yokohama SDGs Design Centre in 2018. It was a successful attempt to achieve SDGs in cooperation with various companies and universities. The centre has four functions: marketing, coordinating, innovating and promoting.
Working every day on community renovation, which enhances attractiveness, the centre creates new innovations and attracts people or companies to Yokohama by sharing its SDGs with an array of stakeholders.
It also supports companies and organizations, as well as implementing several pilot projects by itself. Among these are its “Under the Sea Classroom,” which connects the sea and classrooms with live video; its “On-Demand Bus,” which is an initiative for boosting transportation in communities with ICT; and the “Yokohama Wood Straw Project,” which produces and distributes straws made of wood in Yokohama.
Organisations are nurtured by an SDGs certification system
In 2020, Yokohama SDGs Design Centre launched the Yokohama City SDGs Certification System, “Y-SDGs,” to recognise the efforts of companies and organisations to achieve SDGs.
It expects the system to encourage companies and organizations to transform their activities into sustainable operations and management, leading to an expanded customer base and an increase in business partners.
Furthermore, Yokohama SDGs Design Centre hopes Y-SDGs will provide investors and banking establishments with good indication as to whether or not a business is sustainable.
Yokohama aims to be 100% accessible with the WHILL
The WHILL is a newly invented, short-range mobility chair which is extremely comfortable to ride. Yokohama City has implemented a WHILL sharing service, with the concept in mind of “making joyful and smart transportation for all.”
Creating the ideal SDGs future city, where everyone wants to live and continue to live, is Yokohama’s main priority. It aims to be a city which is totally accessible, even for those who find it difficult to walk for prolonged periods of time, and where both domestic and foreign tourists can enjoy full days of strolling or sightseeing with the WHILL.
Diaries aim to nurture children’s awareness of the global environment
Yokohama City’s future will be more people-friendly, as elementary school students have begun depicting Yokohama and its daily life along with their feelings on the global environment in special diaries.
The “Environmental Picture Diary,” in which elementary school students freely express the things discussed at home, or which they think by themselves, fosters a citizen’s views on Yokohama’s future.
These diaries encourage conversation and enhance knowledge by discussing and debating over environmental issues with children – the city’s future.
The frontier of design and business extending across the seas
The City of Yokohama aims to be one which continues to create new values and prosperities through economy, culture and art, all centred on the environment.
It aims to create a Yokohama-type metropolitan model to solve environmental, economic, and social issues in an integrated way.
Working with them, Scotland can aim to develop and extend its business across seas and continents.
This article is sponsored by City of Yokohama in collaboration with Scottish Development International.
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