Q: What are the area management activities in order to upgrade the value of the city center?
A: Activities such as sales, area events and shows that the operators collaborating together.
Mutual collaborations have been practiced in Fukuoka City for a long time. Hakata, the old part of the city was self-governed during the feudal era of Japan. Even now, they collaborate each other during the traditional festivals and bargains. Now the collaboration goes further for vibrancy of the area and amenities to attract more visitors in the area.
Central City Branding Management
Talking about the local mutual collaboration, Fukuoka City has a long history of mutual collaborations compared to other cities in Japan; the city has been renowned for the Hakata Merchants, who were very powerful and even governed the city in fact during the feudal era of Japan. This tradition has been inherited even up to now.
In recent history, traditional autumn bargain sale in mid-November in Fukuoka City centers started in Kawabata Dori Arcade in 1879, is said to be the first collaborating sale, and it spread elsewhere in Hakata Area. Shintencho Shopping Arcade in Tenjin Area, Fukuoka City’s commercial and administrative center, followed.
Local mutual collaboration is remarkable, especially during the festive seasons in Fukuoka City. During the local festival called Hakata Dontaku Festival in May, drawing 2 million visitors, the local area management bodies organized parades and placed stages and block cars to some roads to give participants a chance to perform dance throughout the city centers such as Tenjin Area and Hakata Area every year before Covid-19 calamity. And during Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival in July, they place the decorative floats of over ten meter-high with traditional motifs created by Hakata Doll masters in 14 places in the city. During the holiday season, the illuminations in the city centers such as Tenjin Area and Hakata Station attract visitors.
In Tenjin Area, local mutual collaboration officially started in 1948. The small retailers and the department stores in the area established an organization, now known as Toshinkai, in search of mutual collaborations for the area’s further growth. Toshinkai was the body bringing joint advertising and events, as well as taking part in the discussions and submitting petitions on the area’s development projects.
Now the area management body, called We Love Tenjin Council, was formed in 2006 with an expanded membership. It consists of the city government, developers, landowners, retailers, residents, and the companies and people related to the area and collaborates with Toshinkai and other neighboring area management councils for the area’s further growth.
We Love Tenjin Council organizes events in the area, such as a street fashion show on a car-blocked road and a Japanese traditional summer dance festival in the City Hall Square. It also collaborates with Toshinkai for the bargain sale in Tenjin Area and the area promotion. Even amid of Covid-19 pandemic, We Love Tenjin Council and Toshinkai jointly created TV commercials for people not to forget Tenjin and come back after the pandemic.
With Fukuoka City’s area development project, Tenjin Big Bang, the demolitions and rebuilding of major buildings in the Tenjin Area are conducted. We Love Tenjin Council and the concerned organizations are working on collaborations to create the vibrancy of the area and to bring the amenities back, such as enjoyable events and promoting catering trucks with a variety of food, during this crucial period. And it has to go along with the measures against infectious diseases.
[Case ID: Urban Management UM-09]