Taking action on the SDGs in Japanese cities: The “FutureCity” Initiative and its achievement on the SDGs


The “FutureCity” initiative promoted an integrated approach and also developed “top runner” municipalities as the best practices on specific common urban issues that can be rolled out across Japan. Major issues were “Energy” (Goal 7) and “Cities” (Goal 11), but not “Poverty” (Goal 1), “Gender equality” (Goal 5), or “Reduced inequalities” (Goal 10). Since the SDGs can provide a platform on which different fields can cooperate, it would contribute to simultaneously resolving multiple issues by facilitating a cross-sectional/integrated approach. Some advanced cities have already started to incorporate the SDGs in their plans, and they would further examined specific issues that they addressed under the “FutureCity” initiative. If actions by local governments in Japan are disseminated not only domestically but also abroad using the worldwide common language of SDGs, it could attract the interest of stakeholders and lead to diverse collaboration that has never been seen before.