New nature-friendly condominiums are housing solutions that are increasingly gaining attention due to the rising awareness in environmentally-friendly products. Not only are they an add-on to energy-saving condos, suitable greenery is planted on the condo buildings to create habitats for creatures, allowing its inhabitants to live in harmony with the biodiversity and thus helping to “preserve the local environment” by minimizing damage to the ecosystem.
Representation of Japan and the environment
Japan is seen here as nature-loving; in the article, both the contractor and the buyers are interested in not just a natural environment to live in, but also being closer to the environment and co-existing with nature by incorporating it into their living spaces. They acknowledge that such is a healthy environment for children and future generations to develop in and to learn about the importance of protecting the environment and living in harmony with other creatures. It may also be the direction that Japan is taking in an attempt to obtain a win-win situation for both the Japanese and the environment.
What makes Japan “green”?
The amount of attention and expertise the contractors employed into researching the biodiversity and the many factors to encourage plant growth reflects the Japanese’ understanding of the importance of a healthy ecosystem. Along with the pre-existing energy-saving condos, Japan seems to aim towards being as “green” as possible by to minimize harm to its biodiversity. Additionally, the fact that the ABINC certification exists shows that the authorities and the citizens acknowledge the importance of the ecosystem in Japan. This article shows how the Japanese play their part in protecting nature in their own way, which gives off the idea that the Japanese are nature-loving and “green”.
Relation to ideas in class
The way nature and habitat is “created” is also a way of selectively modifying nature to suit the Japanese housing needs. By adding nature to housing to make it seem practical, environmental and aesthetically pleasing, the contractors might be encouraging co-existence with nature and also adding on to their project to increase attractiveness to buyers. The ABINC certification recognizes whether a project is environmental, but the contractor may have used this very certificate to promote the condo. Buyers, upon seeing that the condo is ABINC certified, might feel better about themselves for buying a nature-friendly apartment, which probably had a huge piece of land and habitat cleared for its construction, thus holding less concern for the loss of environment to development. Hence, is it ethical to believe that “Exploiting nature for human sustenance is not wrong if it allows other life to coexist” (Williams, 2010)? Despite these controversies, the developer’s decision to bring elements of nature into the urban to ensure sustainable living for both humans and the biodiversity makes this condo a positive change (ibid). However, ensuring that the wildlife do not hinder the daily lives of the condo inhabitants and that the inhabitants do not abuse the wildlife living in the vicinity will pose great difficulties for the future management.
The Japan Times. (2016). “New buzzword for Japan condo buyers: nature-friendly”. The Japan Times. Retrieved 30 August 2016, from http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/04/12/business/new-buzzword-for-japan-condo-buyers-nature-friendly/#.V8WUivl96xA
Williams, B. (2010). “Satoyama: The Ideal and the Real”. Kyoto Journal, 75, pp. 24-29.