Leveraging Solutions: Smart Policies, Plans, and Actions

City Champions: Taking Theory and Practice to the Next Level

Although international consensus on the 2030 Agenda (e.g. SDGs) and Paris Agreement has been achieved, questions continue to arise about responsibility for implementation. This session discusses good practices observed in the city of Iskandar, Malaysia with regard to the promotion of sustainable regional development, examining the theory of change behind these efforts in view of collaboration with IGES/NIES, academia, Japanese cities, NGOs, JICA, private sector and other actors.

Iskandar set a target in 2007 to become an economically vibrant, sustainable metropolis by 2025. Following this announcement, and working in partnership with a local university and the city administration, a Japanese research group made up of NIES and other institutions conducted a JST/JICA-supported project (2011-2016), to develop a “Low Carbon Society Blueprint” comprised of 12 actions and 280 programmes. It was endorsed by Prime Minister Najib in December 2012 and a new administrative department was established to execute this plan. NIES and IGES have worked to facilitate knowledge transfer by engaging Japanese local governments and promoting stakeholder actions (such as environmental education led by Kyoto, energy auditing in the building sector supported by Tokyo, mini-hydro activities promoted by Toyama, and smart city development guided by Mitsui Corporation). The opportunities and challenges encountered in Iskandar have also been highlighted in JICA’s city training programmes targeting Asian cities.

This session will discuss how similar theories and practices can be applied towards sustainable development solutions in other cities, highlighting the added value of IGES and other partners in such efforts.

Keynote Speech

Mohamed Khaled Nordin

Chief Minister of Johor, State Government of Johor, Malaysia


Kenji Suzuki

Senior Director for Policy Coordination, Bureau of Environment, Tokyo Metropolitan Government


Itsu Adachi

Director, Infrastructure and Peacebuilding Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)


Kazuyuki Tani

Mayor, Shimokawa Town


Stefanos Fotiou

Director, Environment and Development Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)


Yatsuka Kataoka

Joint-Programme Director, City Taskforce, IGES


Junichi Fujino

Programme Director, City Taskforce, IGES