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Industrial Cluster Development

Q: What is the condition for urban industries to be accumulated?

A: Convenience of access is very important; if not, it is difficult even the amenities are good.

Fukuoka City strategically attracted R&D-focused companies to a newly reclaimed area in the 1980s. The economic downturn in the 1990s, which led many companies to relocate, the area is now being revitalized with data centers and startups and venture businesses, with remaining R&D centers. Some companies are considering to be back to the newly redeveloping city center of Fukuoka City, that shows the convenience of access is very important.

Industrial Cluster Development in Momochihama

Since the 1960s, Fukuoka City has experienced significant growth in tertiary industries such as wholesale and retail, finance and insurance, information and communication, and healthcare and welfare. This growth has led to the accumulation of commercial and service industries, as well as improvements in transportation and distribution convenience, all contributing to the city's development.

Recognizing the importance of R&D from the 1980s, Fukuoka City strategically attracted computer-related companies to the newly reclaimed area of Momochihama, which is 20 -minute drive from the city center. This area was developed as a research hub, promoting seamless collaboration between industry, government, and academia. Major Japanese companies like NEC, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Sony, Panasonic, and NTT, as well as global giants such as IBM and Daewoo, established research bases in Momochihama.

However, following the burst of the bubble economy in the 1990s, companies began focusing on business efficiency and cost reduction. This shift led to the search for integrated mother factories where researchers and technicians could collaborate and move efficiently. As a result, many research bases in Momochihama were relocated to areas adjacent to company headquarters or factories, particularly in metropolitan regions, such as Tokyo and Osaka, and overseas.

Currently, the former research facilities in Momochihama are being repurposed. They now house data centers based on business continuity planning and promising startups and venture companies, with remaining R&D centers.

Leveraging its distance proximity to Asia and excellent transportation access, including a subway connection that takes only about ten minutes from the airport to the city center, Fukuoka City is actively working to attract domestic and international financial institutions to areas undergoing city-center redevelopment projects such as the Tenjin Big Bang and Hakata Connected. Even some companies that have withdrawn from Momochihama are considering to move in to these redeveloping areas, and that shows how important the convenience of access is.

[Case ID: Urban Industry UI-03]


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