Island City is an artificial island that was built in Hakata Bay in part to bolster the city’s port functions. The island is divided into the port zone, which features a state-of-the-art container terminal, and a residential zone. This year marks the 10th year since residents first moved into the new neighborhoods on Island City, and a variety of events to commemorate this anniversary are in the works. Several new facilities are also opening.
Aiming to make Island City a “Future City for Health and Well-being”, City Hall has undertaken several progressive initiatives to make the island a great place to raise children and a comfortable home for the elderly. One example of these efforts is Teriha Elementary and Junior High School, Fukuoka’s first ever combined 9-grade elementary/junior high school. Island City is also home to the Fukuoka City Children’s Hospital, which is one of the few highly specialized pediatric hospitals in Japan, as well as other world-renowned specialist hospitals and cutting-edge rehabilitation centers.
Even before Island City came into existence, the surrounding waters and nearby coasts were known for their diverse marine and wildlife. This is why an eco-park zone has been developed where people can enjoy swimming in the ocean, birdwatching and other activities. Aiming to realize an energy-efficient city, Island City also boasts an experimental neighborhood that is striving to eliminate CO2 emissions as well as smart houses that use information technology to optimally control energy consumption.
In the meantime, a raft of new facilities has opened this summer, including a spa resort, which is the island’s first large-scale commercial building, and a multipurpose building housing a pharmacy, a cafe and other shops; a farm-fresh market is slated to open in the near future. For the past 10 years, Island City has grown through the cooperation of the public and private sectors, and going forward, a wide array of initiatives aimed at creating a community for a new era are sure to continue.
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn201, Sep. 2015)