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J Environ Manage. 2009 Mar;90(3):1544-56. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2008.11.010. Epub 2008 Dec 19.

Industrial and urban symbiosis in Japan: analysis of the Eco-Town Program 1997-2006.

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Asian Environment Research Group, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba-City, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan.


Japan's Eco-Town Program spearheaded in Japan the integration of Industrial Symbiosis and Urban Symbiosis, seeking to maximise the economic and environmental benefit from close geographic proximity of industrial and urban areas, through the use of previously discarded commercial, municipal and industrial waste materials in industrial applications. The program established 26 Eco-Towns around Japan. Approximately 1.65 billion USD was invested in 61 innovative recycling projects, with an average government subsidy of 36%. In addition at least 107 other recycling facilities have been constructed without government subsidy. 14 Eco-Towns primarily contributed to improving industry's productivity, whilst 10 Eco-Towns primarily contributed to improving environmental amenity. In 16 Eco-Towns the private sector was the most important actor supporting local government in the realisation of the Eco-Town, whilst in 9 Eco-Towns this was civil society. The availability of investment subsidies, the coming into force of ambitious recycling legislation with quantified, product-specific targets, access to the significant technological resources of the private sector, and widespread recognition of the urgency to act on environmental issues, all contributed to the success of the Eco-Town Program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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