The City of Yokohama

General overview of the city

With Yokohama Port being Japan’s largest international seafaring gateway, the City of Yokohama is home to activities of many different industries. In addition to hosting numerous corporate headquarters including those of Nissan Motor Company, in 2016 Yokohama welcomed the establishment of an Apple R&D Center, etc. Thus, many corporate R&D facilities and foreign businesses have chosen to locate themselves within the city. In that with its current population of 3.73 million people it ranks second only to Tokyo, the City of Yokohama is currently battling many issues including societal aging and the energy problems that arose as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake, etc. It has been under such circumstances that the national government selected Yokohama as a “FutureCity”, and while invigorating the economy, all of its resources are now being committed to help deal with urban issues such as responding to the unprecedented phenomena of aging societies, and working to reduce CO2 emissions, among others.

Sustainability policies

One good practice is the Yokohama Smart City Project 2010-2014; an initiative by the national government for energy management. In this project, Yokohama paired up with 34 private companies to work together on developing an energy management system for residential commercial and industrial buildings.  The city visualized energy consumption to optimize energy supply by cutting peak demand. Since 2015, Yokohama has used facts learned through this project and is now working with private companies to commercialize this scheme.

One of them is the “Virtual Power Plant (VPP) Project” in which multiple storage batteries dispersed in schools throughout the city are controlled remotely using energy management practices to create functions similar to a single power plant. The successful construction of such VPP resources under joint collaboration between the private-sector and a regional municipality is the first in Japan.

Supporting policies

The FutureCity Initiative aims to create an urban city and community with the sustainable economic and social system that can respond to the issues of aging and the environment. Yokohama city was selected as one of the eleven cities to create a megacity model that could be scaled to cities of similar structures nationwide. 

Basic Data
Growth+3.0% (2005 / 2010)

Certified for
nurse care
(Kanagawa Pref)

2.5% / 1.3% (2000 /2014)
Area435.21 km2
Nominal GDP12.5 trillion yen
(US$ 109.6 billion)
Yokohama City

SDG 11 indicators found in Yokohama’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 

written by the IUC-J Secretariat