HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Tokyo, Japan or Virtually from your home or work.
Noriko Irie, Speaker at
Ehime University , Japan
Title : Social impact assessment of sustainable agriculture: Two cases of solar agricultural houses in Japan


This presentation will depict the results of a social impact assessment (SIA) of two cases of sustainable agricultural practices in Japan, including Chiasaki-city in Kanagawa prefecture and Iwata-city in Shizuoka prefecture. SIA is a method for analysing and managing social impacts resulting from planned interventions. Social impact in SIA is defined as the ultimate effect due to change on the individuals involved, that is, ‘the real and perceived impacts experienced by humans (at individual and higher aggregation levels) caused through biophysical and/or social change processes generated by planned interventions’. The cases of house facilities investigated aim to produce vegetables and fruits in agricultural house hydroponic cultivation systems in an eco-friendly, economically viable, and socially desirable manner. They achieve little usage of chemical substances and nonrenewable resources, including pesticides, water, and electricity. This is realised via introduction of a water-saving cultivation method, ICT technology, and usage of solar panels set on the rooftops of agricultural houses (agrivoltaic system, commonly known as ‘solar-sharing’ in Japan). The analysis will show how eco-friendly the cases are and also how successfully they demonstrate economic viability without relying on government subsidies. The results of the SIA conducted via surveys in the facility-sited prefectures will show how local residences evaluate benefits in terms of the local activities of agricultural houses, including environmental education and provision of electricity when disastrous events occur in nearby local areas. These cases hold significant implications for viable, sustainable agricultural practices in Japan that will prove informative to all project designers, developers, policy makers, and researchers. The audience will gain knowledge on how realistically new sustainable agricultural practices can be implemented in places wherein high labour costs, aging societies, and a lack of new successors in agricultural production are prolonged serious problems.

Audience Take Away:
The audience will learn how eco-friendly, economically viable, and socially desirable the house cultivation system cases in Japan are.
• The audience will understand the method of social impact assessment (SIA) used to evaluate the social desirability of sustainable agriculture.
• The audience will be able to use this knowledge to design sustainable and viable house cultivation systems in Japan and elsewhere, where aging agricultural owners and a limited number of successors are increasingly becoming an issue impeding the realization of sustainable agriculture. This information may also provide valuable insights to other developed countries regarding sustainability management for agricultural house cultivation systems.
• This is a hands-on and realistic solution for an actual sustainable project that can serve the interests of project designers, developers, policy makers, and researchers.


Dr. Noriko Irie earned a Diploma and an MSc in Applied Environmental Economics at the Imperial College, an MPhil in Environmental Policy at the Land Economy Department of the University of Cambridge, and a PhD from the University of Tokyo. She is an associate professor at the Department of Environmental Design, Faculty of Collaborative Regional Innovation in the National University Corporation Ehime University, Japan. She also possesses work experience in environmental management and knowledge of environmental and energy