The City of Ikoma

General overview of the city

Ikoma is located at the intersection of three prefectures, the second largest economy in Japan “Osaka”, the historic political capital “Kyoto”, and “Nara” heralded as the birth place of Japan with abundant archeological and spiritual temples.  Set at the foot of Ikoma mountain the population rose from 30,000 (1991) to 120,000 (2017), despite population decline in cities elsewhere in Japan.  It is the first residential city selected in 2014 under a national “eco-model town” project that sought to develop Ikoma as a residential model that could be shared and scaled throughout the nation. The ambitious targets Ikoma set as an eco-model city were a reduction of GHG emissions by 35 percent (2030) and 70 percent (2050) compared to the 2006 baseline.

Sustainability policies

The city is experiencing three challenges: an increasingly aging society; a weak industrial structure with unstable tax revenues; and the uncertain capacity of the civil society.  The city is currently addressing these challenges by tapping into the characteristics of being a residential bed town, a historical city with abundant natural resources, and strong civil society.

A group of senior citizens with good connections and skills started setting up and financing solar panels without any participation of the government or private companies. Major manufacturing company engineers were also among the members, and worked without pay. This led to the establishment of a local utility “Ikoma Citizen Power Company” with participation of the city government, citizens, citizen developed companies, and the local bank.  Revenues are reinvested to revitalize the local economy by enhancing public services that would promote local consumption and production of renewable energy, or donated to children’s playground or facilities for the elderly.

Renewable energy has been a project in which active senior citizens have been able to contribute to the local community.  As shareholders for the local utility “Ikoma Citizen Power Company”, senior citizen power will be essential in deciding what public services will be offered to community.


  • CO2 is reduced by 35 percent from 2006 levels in 2030
  • Renewables are increased by 6 folds from 2011 levels in 2030.
  • Energy consumption is reduced by 25 percent from 2006 levels in 2030.
    Basic Data
    Growth3.9 % (2005 - 2010)

    Certified for
    nurse care
    (Nara Pref)

    3.5% / 1.5% (2000 /2014)
    Area53 km2
    Nominal GDP68.7 billion yen
    (US$ 0.60 billion)
    Ikoma Mountain and Ikoma city

    SDG 11 indicators found in Ikoma’s policies

    Adequate housing policiesPublic transport promotionCivil society participation in urban planningPolicies to reduce solid wasteBetter air quality policiesDisaster risk  reduction policies

    Note: 〇 policies exist, N/A policies do not exist