Background to the Master Plan of Fukuoka City

Q: What will be the base when cities make the development plan?

A: Close watch on the competition conditions with other cities, resource advantages, and growth industries in the mid and long term.


Fukuoka City has developed as the Kyushu’s center of culture, economy, and information industry. It has a high weight in the sectors such as commerce, including wholesale and retail businesses. To be a "city where shopping is fun" today was achieved by the master plan established in 1966.


Master Plan of Fukuoka City


Each city has its characters, influenced by geographical or historical conditions. Fukuoka City has served as the center of commerce, culture, and the transportation of Kyushu. Being the main gateway from Asia has a long history since ancient times, the city has handled the trade with China, Korea, and Ryukyu (present Okinawa) under these conditions. And even now, it prospers with the industries such as service and commerce.

A city establishes the master plan for the city development. Fukuoka City was the first city in Japan to introduce the master plan of the city development in 1961. The first master plan was more focused on promoting the manufacturing industry because the central government promoted the manufacturing industry in the local areas. And it also looked at its rival - the five cities in the east of the same Fukuoka prefecture, prospering with the manufacturing industry, soon-to-be merging as Kitakyushu City and the first ordinance-designated city in Western Japan at that time.

After the first master plan, in 1962, a local newspaper company also published the diagnosis of the characteristic of Kyushu's capital cities, their future city development, and the possibilities and potentials by the experts from universities. The chapter on Fukuoka City advised Fukuoka City to become the leader of the region, developing the central management function further. And shortcomings are also found. Fukuoka City would not provide enough water and land to promote the manufacturing industry in the area.


In 1966, the master plan was revised. This time, the city government collected opinions from the city council, academic experts, and citizens. The focused industries were such as service and commerce; that is, Fukuoka City already outstands other cities in this region. Eventually, the city was flourishing in entrenching the position of being the Kyushu’s capital city.

Now the city promotes more sophisticated industries such as ICT and content. If it combines with the service or commerce industries such as wholesale or retail, there is a possibility that it will grow further.


To establish the master plan of the city development, it is essential to analyze the city objectively, or sometimes by a third party, and find out the characteristics of the city by comparing it with other competing cities from a wide-area perspective. And it is important to cooperate with the surrounding areas.



[Case ID: Urban Policy UP-01]