Outcomes in Member Cities
The outcomes listed below are based on replies to the questionnaire survey of Member Cities.
Winter Tourism Resource
Ice hotel idea attracted city administrators when they visited Kiruna in 2000 for the ninth Mayors Conference, which helped the city draw up measures to invite tourists from southern regions.
Through mutual visits by member cities, Harbin and Qiqihar learned about how to make the winter season more attractive. Sapporo’s success in utilizing snow and ice as a tourism resource was very encouraging.
Through the discussion made at the eighth Mayors Conference held in Harbin in 1998, the city learned about innovative ideas for enhancing cultural activities in winter and promoting an ice and snow project.
The city sent its officials to the Sapporo Snow Festival held in February 2002, where they learned about the festival. This helped them organize the first snow festival in Ulaanbaatar in 2003.
Utilizing the knowledge obtained from the Sapporo Snow Festival, where many snow statues and ice sculptures are displayed, the city has been building an ice hotel each year to attract tourists in winter.
[Prince George, Kiruna, Lulea]
On the occasion of the Board of Secretaries Meeting held in Prince George, representatives of Lulea, Kiruna and Marquette (Michigan, U.S.A) and Prince George signed an agreement on exchange of snow removal technology. The cities sent their officials in 2001.
[Prince George, Aomori]
As part of the activities of the Snow Management Subcommittee, an exchange of personnel in charge of snow removal was implemented between Prince George and Aomori. The cities learned about practical measures and technologies related to snow removal, and incorporated them into their own future challenges.
Since the year 2001, a senior official has been sent to the city of Sapporo for six months, and training programs in various fields such as culture, waste management, snow removal and administrative management have been given to a trainee.
[Aomori and Lulea]
Elementary school students from Lule? and Aomori conducted an Internet meeting in 2001. Mutual understanding among the students was deepened by introducing school life, culture and games to each other.
The Winter Cities Art Exhibition was concurrently held with the 10th Mayors Conference in Aomori in 2002. The great artistry that is fostered by the natural features and ethnicity of northern regions was re-acknowledged and mutual cultural understanding was deepened.
[Jiamusi] (Introduction of advanced road construction technology)
The city sent a road inspection team to Anchorage in 1996, and learned about road construction technology to prevent cracks on the winter road surface and snow removal methods, which were incorporated in the city’s projects.
[Qiqihar] (Urban development projects)
The city visited Sweden in 2001 and had business talks on projects such as geothermal energy, greening and housing construction.
[Kiruna] (Frontage snow removal)
Frontage snow removal machines developed by the city of Prince George that do not leave snow mounds in front of houses were introduced.
・Use of sodium lamps
Adopted sodium lamps used in Anchorage, and promotes introducing sodium lamps when installing and renewing.
・Improvement of snow disposal facilities utilizing natural energy
Practically using a Road heating system with seawater as a heat source,” which was introduced at the Winter Cities Forum at the ninth Mayors Conference in Lule? and Kiruna in 2000, on the city-center roads. The city also installed road heating system utilizing geothermal heat, another type of natural energy, to the city center. It has also promoted the introduction of a snow-melting system with a smaller impact on the environment.
・Promoting improvement of citizens’ snow removal awareness
“Snow Force,” a volunteer group with special uniforms consisting of both public and private employees helping out in snow clearance and disposal aimed at morale boost was formed in Prince George. Adopting the ideas of Snow Force, a citizens’ organization called Northern Life Study Group was formed in Aomori, and it publicized the citizens’ engagement in regional snow removal in order to improve citizens’ snow removal awareness. The group conducts “Snow Knight Projects” to reward accomplishments in snow removal, and as part of the projects, uniforms are presented.
・Planting of evergreen trees
Evergreen trees are planted in public spaces such as center dividers of trunk roads in order to prevent snowstorms in the area and to maintain appearance. Overuse of evergreen trees makes the area dim, and use of evergreen for roadside trees might cause danger of sliding snow accumulated on the leaves. Therefore, evergreen trees and deciduous trees are efficiently used.
・Regulations for studded tires
Studded tires have high efficiency for braking. However, on the other hand, the road surface maintenance caused by scraping pavement is tremendous and it also impacts the environment with noise and dust. The experiences of other cities related to studded tires were introduced at the first Northern Intercity Conference held in Sapporo in 1982. These case reports encouraged the city of Sapporo to take the first full-scale step toward studded tire measures. After actively working on enactment of regulations and laws, the city realized a total ban on the use of studded tires in 1990.
・Introduction of hydroelectric power
As part of energy conservation measures, electric energy has been generated at the Moiwa Water Treatment Plant since 1984. The amount of electricity generated there is 330kWh, which is equivalent to the amount consumed by 100~150 general households.
・Introduction of sodium lamps
To conduct energy-saving measures and improve visibility when snow is falling, street lights were changed from mercury lamps to sodium lamps. As of April 2003, the number of sodium lamps used is 70,795, equivalent to about 73% of the total number of street lights in the city (96,874). From the perspective of promoting ISO14001, sodium lamps should be actively introduced in the future.
・Promotion of snow hockey
In order to promote a lifelong sport that can be enjoyed all year long, snow hockey was selected, and the first Sapporo Mayor’s Cup Snow Hockey Meet was held in 1983. This hockey meet has been continuously held since then, and 580 athletes in 57 teams consisting of mostly elementary school students participated in the 20th meet in 2003. Snow hockey has become a popular winter sport for children.
・Promotion of cross-country ski courses
To promote citizens’ recreation and sports in winter, permanent cross-country ski courses were developed in Nakajima Park in 1983. Currently, a 1km-course is set up for beginners and 150 ski sets with boots are lent for free from December to March. There are 14 permanent cross-country ski courses in the city.
・Opening parks in winter and introducing wooden play equipment
Since 1983, the introduction of wooden play equipment and the use of parks in winter have been actively promoted so that children can play outdoors even during winter. In the late ’80s, many parks were open for use during winter. On the other hand, parks turned to snow-dumping sites in winter. Wooden play equipment is not actually used due to their high installation and maintenance costs and short lifespan.
・Role sharing between the city and the citizens
In order to efficiently manage parks and to expand opportunities for citizens’ participation, parks have been managed with the cooperation of the city and the citizens. Cleaning and weeding in children’s parks, which is done three times a year, is entrusted to neighborhood associations.
It is important to develop attractive cityscape characteristics of northern cities taking into consideration colors and shapes of buildings in order to create a livable urban environment and to increase the level of the citizens’ culture. Case examples related to cityscape were introduced at the first Northern Intercity Conference held in Sapporo in 1982, which led the city of Sapporo to initiate a full-scale urban landscape development. The Sapporo Urban Landscape Award was founded in 1983, and the Sapporo Urban Landscape Code was enforced in 1998.
International status enhanced and international relations deepened
Through WWCAM activities, Prince George could publicize its name. Particularly, the city could introduce itself to member cities by holding the Board of Secretaries Meeting in October 2000, the first such meeting to be held in a city other than Sapporo.
Through the eighth Mayors Conference held in Harbin in 1998, Harbin could publicize its name to cities in northern regions.
Through the second Northern Intercity Conference in 1985, Shenyang could improve its recognition, and deepen mutual understanding and friendship among member cities. Moreover, the city could accumulate knowledge on how to host international conferences.
The experience of international exchange through the WWCAM was a significant outcome.
It is useful for various fields in the city to exchange technology and information among winter cities with common natural environments.
Through WWCAM activities, the city could obtain useful information for coping with issues common to winter cities.
The city learned from other cities with similar climates, and could obtain knowledge when necessary.