We hosted the first meet-up to introduce Doughnut Economics in Tokyo on 5th March. At the event, around 50 people from different sectors such as city officials, real estate developers, academia, and non-profits came together and discussed how Tokyo can embrace the Doughnut as a city strategy towards a more sustainable, circular city.
Since we visited Circle Economy in Amsterdam in 2019 and were told that the city will adopt Doughnut Economics as a city official circular economy strategy, we have been fascinated by the concept and thinking about how we can bring this new way of thinking to our city. That was the reason why we decided to host the event in Tokyo.
The event consisted of three parts. In the first part, we had a short lecture about Doughnut Economics. In the second part, we invited two special guests remotely: Karn Spydar Lee Bianco, digital & communication lead at DEAL, and Ilektra Kouloumpi, Thriving Cities Lead at Circle Economy. Karn told us the latest activities of DEAL while Ilektra shared the story about how the city of Amsterdam applied Doughnut Economics into its core strategy. After those two sessions, we had a panel discussion inviting three local experts in the space of city development in Tokyo.
In the panel discussion titled “Can Tokyo meet the Doughnut?”, we explored the possibility of using the Doughnut as a lens to develop the city’s sustainable, circular economy strategy. The discussion was mainly focused on which approach, top-down or bottom-up would be appropriate in the case of Tokyo, such a big city with a population of 14 million. Takuya Masuda said it might be better to start a small project in some areas and then scale up, while Mayuko Mitani said strong leadership from municipalities will be needed to make it happen in a big city like Tokyo. Hiroki Naka also added that we have to think of the scale of the Doughnut at various levels.
For the final part, we had the online workshop based on Creating City Portraits. We divided people into four groups and delivered four different topics for each group: food, fashion, housing, and the legacy of the Olympic Games. Using the online workshop tool Miro, each group brainstormed ideas of applying the Doughnut into concrete practices in the city and then explored the interconnection between each idea they came up with.
Finally, the illustrator Miki Natori put all the ideas together and completed one picture of Tokyo Doughnut which shows the future landscape of Tokyo we want to create by implementing Doughnut practices.
Three months after the event, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Environment launched the new online platform called “Do!Nuts Tokyo” to promote local actions to achieve the city’s target to be carbon-neutral by 2050. This is the first time in Japan that the city officially showed the diagram of Doughnut Economics on its website.