Vision of UDCK



Atsushi Deguchi
President of UDCK (Professor of the University of Tokyo)

Mass collaboration on private, public and academic partnerships

What do we expect from a "town"? Most of us need the convenient environment where we can live without anxiety. Some want to have fun, or encounter and exchanges with people, while some seek for a new business chance. From a social point of view, we also want to reduce environmental impacts, take measures to the aging society, foster industries, and stimulate a regional economy. With these problems becoming more diverse and complicated, simple solutions are not enough for them. To realize the "town" we need, we have to formulate a new scheme to develop a town ideal for the future, by sharing mutual goals.
In recent years, city development participated in by citizens and initiated by a community has been promoted. For complex problems, however, various individuals and organizations which are taking actions in public, private, and academic fields, respectively, have to collaborate in problem solving by contacting each other in required cases. Universities and professionals will play important roles in the application of new technologies and theories to city development as well as in deciding the direction of collaboration from a long-term, objective standpoint.

Constituents and roles of the public, private and academic sectors

Public = Administration (government), non-profit organizations (NPOs), etc. Offer public services to a community.
Private = Citizens, enterprises involved in economic activities, etc. Enhance vitality and attractiveness of a community.
Academic = Educational and research institutions including universities, professionals, etc. Carry out advanced activities based on expertise and technologies.

The key to the future city development is the integration and combination of collaboration with the public, private and academic sectors, that is, mass collaboration. A proper system and foothold are needed to promote it.
The Urban Design Center (UDC) is a foothold to practice mass collaboration with the public, private and academic sectors, initiated by a community, and to create a town.


A foothold to create a town with the initiative of a community

The foothold for mobile mass collaboration by a community needs 1) a base of activity, 2) full-time professional staff, and 3) a cooperative operating structure. Continuous activities and the development of a new activity will only become possible when a base of activities exists in the center of a community, full-time staff regularly support and direct individual activities, and a cooperative operating structure manages the whole activity.
The form and the management of a base depend on the scale and conditions of a city. The initiative in building it may be taken by local governments, NPOs and companies, or universities and professionals.
The Urban Design Center Kashiwa-no-ha (UDCK) is the first urban design center in Japan, established in November 2006, participated in by local governments, private organizations, and universities, proposed by Takeru Kitazawa, the then Professor of the University of Tokyo. UDCK promotes city development with advanced mass collaboration as the base independent from the government administration for carrying out part of planning and adjustment of city development.

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