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Diversified Area Re-Development: Daimyo Area

Q: Should redevelopment of the area with complicated landowners be discouraged?

A: Start changing the value of the area from promoting the industries such as fashion or information technology.

Daimyo Area, next to Tenjin, the center of Fukuoka City, has the epicenter of subculture and new fashion of Fukuoka. The landowners and shop owners cooperate to keep the area clean and safe, and it is an excellent example of gentrification.

Diversified Area Re-Development - Daimyo Area

Daimyo Area is about 300-meter west of Tenjin, Fukuoka City's center. The area used to be the residential area for high-ranked Samurais serving the feudal road of Fukuoka and a moat leading to the Fukuoka Castle, reclaimed in 1910. Land readjustment was not enforced in the area, and narrow streets and the maze of alleyways still trace back to the feudal era. The area now is trendy among young people with shops of globally renowned brands.

In the late 1980s, Tenjin Area developed as the commercial center of Fukuoka City; many used clothes and variety stores selling unique things targeting young people opened in this Daimyo Area because of cheaper rent compared to Tenjin Area. Young artists also came into the area and opened the galleries of their works in old buildings in the area and made the area the base to transmit subculture.

As young people gathered, there emerged the deteriorating condition of public order, such as graffiti and drunkards in the area. The landowners and shop owners in the area started to cooperate to keep the area safe and clean. They set security cameras on the street and patrol, erase the graffiti, and clean the streets regularly with the police and Fukuoka City Government. The traditional names of the street are preserved as the area's unique characteristics.

The area totally established the position of being the epicenter of new fashion and subculture. Now many of the ground levels of the buildings in the area transformed have been turned into boutiques of globally renowned brands and accessories. And some unique buildings opened in the area. It is an excellent example of the gentrification of the area.

The success of the gentrification also brought the downside, such as the increased rent driving the small businesses away, which used to give uniqueness to the area, and the demolition of historic buildings. Ex-Daimyo Elementary School Building in the area, built in 1929, has been preserved and used as the base for the young people to start new businesses.

Together with the measures necessary to keep the area creative, such as support for cultural activity and community development, next to Tenjin Area developing the commercial center of Fukuoka City, this Daimyo Area is expected to grow as the epicenter of subculture and new business.

[Case ID: Urban Renewal UR-04]


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