International Environmental Technology Centre 



Eco towns

Penang (Malaysia), Bandung (Indonesia) and Shenyang (China), in collaboration with Kawasaki (Japan).

Eco-towns refer to an urban planning and environmental management approach where industries located in the designated area pursue synergies in resource utilization, waste management, environmental preservation, and promotion of industrial and economic development. They practise resource efficiency within their manufacturing processes and in between the industries. The eco-town approach enhances productivity and simultaneously reduces the negative impacts on the environment through tools, techniques and technologies adopted for the purpose. It recognizes the fundamental need for businesses to incorporate not just economic performance and quality improvements in the production process but also to take account of environmental objectives.

The typical scope of an eco-town not only covers integrated waste management with the objective of achieving sustainable patterns of production and consumption, but can also be expanded to encompass the practice of 3Rs, green planning, green purchasing, efficient use and conservation of natural resources (raw material, energy and water) and air emission controls etc.

Taking into account the relative advantages offered by eco-towns as a "laboratory" to test sustainability concepts and production and consumption processes (covering both the public and private sectors, IETC’s eco-town initiative covers three cities in the Asia Pacific region: Penang (Malaysia), Bandung (Indonesia) and Shenyang (China). This initiative is done in partnership with the city of Kawasaki (Japan), itself a leader in the development of eco-towns worldwide.

Research on Eco-Towns in Japan: Implications and Lessons for Developing Countries and Cities, Jun 2005Research on Eco-Towns in Japan: Implications and Lessons for Developing Countries and Cities, Jun 2005 (PDF 1MB)

Eco-towns in Japan were developed in the last 10 years by utilizing regional technology and industry in Japan. Local governments and enterprises have worked in partnership to build such complexes. Eco-towns have enabled a number of developmental objectives to be met simultaneously. It has helped to stimulate the local economy, secure employment, as well as dispose waste in an environmentally sound manner, and protect air and water resources. A number of lessons have been learnt in the setting up of such eco towns in Japan, not only within these eco-towns, but also on the cities where they are located. This report focuses on identifying the key lessons learnt in the setting up of the eco-towns. These lessons will help in the development of step-by-step guidelines that will help local / national governments to set up eco-towns in their countries. The report was produced by the Global Environment Centre Foundation with inputs from IETC.

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