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Large Scale Shopping Facilities Development

Q: Does redevelopment to be a big shopping mall eliminate traditional commerce?

A: Planning the lines of traffic movement and the allotment of function should be discussed together as the wisdom of co-prosperity.

Canal City Hakata, the mall with the second biggest retail area in Fukuoka City, and Kawabata Shopping Arcade, a traditional shopping arcade, show a good example of coexistence and co-prosperity.

Large Scale Shopping Facilities Development: Canal City Hakata and Kawabata Shopping Arcade

Canal City Hakata is a big shopping complex located between Hakata Station and the Tenjin area, which are the commercial centers of Fukuoka City. It has the second-biggest retail area (51,542 square meters) in Fukuoka and accommodates two hotels, a theater, a cineplex, and a business center building.

And the north of this mall, there is a traditional shopping mall, Kawabata Shopping Arcade, easily accessible by subway. And at the vicinity of Kushida Shrine, the tutelary deity of Hakata Area, the arcade had prospered as the city's commercial center, having twenty to thirty thousand visitors per day in the 1960s until the commercial centers of the city started to shift to Tenjin Area and Hakata Station. When the project of Canal City was announced, the number of visitors declined to three thousand per day.

The developer of the mall and the stakeholders, such as the retailers' associations in the surrounding area, discussed finding a way to satisfy all the stakeholders. They concluded to build an overpass between the shopping arcade and the mall, enabling the visitors to use the subway to walk through the shopping arcade to get to Canal City Hakata. When opening the mall, the shopping arcade conducted an advertising campaign, "We Are Fun Shortcut to Canal City Hakata," on TV and public transportation.

This project brought Kawabata Shopping Arcade back to life. Many retailers renovated their shops, and now most shops are unique, having local flavors unlike in the shopping mall, such as local sweets shops, tea shops, and local cuisine restaurants. And a local retailers' association made a space to display the traditional decorative float from Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival held in July every year. This space is well received by not only domestic tourists but also by foreign tourists. This shopping arcade also is used as the unique reception venue when Fukuoka City hosts MICE meetings.

After the covid-19 pandemic, the area is expected to handle many visitors. In March 2023, the new station of Fukuoka City Subway's Nanakuma Line will be inaugurated. The importance of this area will be increased. And this case of Canal City Hakata and Kawabata Shopping Arcade is a good example that the big shopping malls and traditional commerce can coexist and co-prosper.

[Case ID: Urban Renewal UR-07]


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