Q: What kind of retail facilities should be developed to increase the number of visitors?
A: Development enhancing the convenience such as the network of underground passages is as essential as facility development.
Tenjin Chikagai, an underground shopping mall of 590 meters in the center of Fukuoka City, is not just a mall but also is the essential social infrastructure of the underground network of the area, serving 200 – 300 thousand people daily. People can walk comfortably to their destinations around Tenjin using this network.
Retail and Underground Network: Tenjin Chikagai (Tenjin Underground Shopping Mall)
The center of Fukuoka City is the center of business of the region of Kyushu and the largest shopping area in the region. Under the main avenue from north to south of the city, Watanabe Dori Avenue, Tenjin Chikagai, an underground shopping mall, plays a role, not only as a shopping mall but also as the underground network connecting Tenjin Area’s many buildings.
Initially inaugurated in 1976 and extended in 2005, this 590-meter mall now serves as the underground network, serving 200 -300 thousand people per day. It is connected to 2 concourses of the Fukuoka Subway Stations handling 67 thousand people daily, Tenjin on Kuko Line and Tenjin Minami on Nanakuma Line. And it has six passages directly connected to the shopping malls and buildings in the area and 32 stairways to the ground levels in front of bus stops or buildings along Watanabe Dori Avenue. And it has two car parks accommodating 410 cars, and many buildings connected to the network have their car parks. When people once get to Tenjin, whatever transportation they take, they can walk comfortably to their destinations around Tenjin using this network, without waiting for traffic lights, getting wet from the rain, and feeling hot or cold outside.
People can walk and shop simultaneously in this mall inspired by 19th Century Europe and a universal design concept introduced in 2005, the elevators and escalators are installed as well as the renovated restrooms, nicely designed vanity space in women's restrooms, accessible restrooms, and a lactation room. And the gaps on the floor are mostly eliminated. User-friendliness and the convenience of being able to walk in the area increased pedestrian traffic at all points in the mall.
When the Tenjin Big Bang Project is completed by 2026, the area is expected to handle many visitors and commuters, as well as the extension of Fukuoka City Subway’s Nanakuma Line to Hakata Station in the fiscal year of 2022. Consequently, the essential role of Tenjin Chikagai not only as a shopping mall but also as a social infrastructure of the underground network in the Tenjin Area will be increased.
[Case ID: Urban Renewal UR-12]