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Should university campuses in the city center be encouraged to move out?

・Kyushu University relocated a campus near the center of Fukuoka City to the suburb in 2009.

・The vacated area has now been transformed into a judicial-related town with a museum, and quality-conscious shops and apartments, and is attracting a wide range of age groups to the area.

Ropponmatsu Area, Fukuoka City

A case of a vacated land usage of a campus moving out from the city center to a suburb in Fukuoka City. Kyushu University, known as one of the prestigious national universities in Japan, once had 6.5 hectares of land as a campus for undergraduate general education in Ropponmatsu Area, 2.9 km west of the center of Fukuoka City. Due to the university’s project to gather its facilities in one place, the campus moved out to Ito, located approximately 20km away from the city center in 2009.

Through the discussions on the vacated land usage by the related bodies -- Fukuoka City Government, the developers and the neighborhood community, the following plan was implemented. The land was divided into several parts.

The northern part, facing the subway station and the bus trunk routes, was defined as the area contributing to the local vitalization and creating liveliness of neighborhood, serving the multiple roles as commercial, business, service, as well as residential purposes. There, the main building complex accommodates Fukuoka City Science Museum on four floors with a planetarium, and it has a high-end supermarket, bookstore, coffee shops, and a rooftop garden, as well as an elder care facility and a car park. Another complex is an apartment building, with some shops for living-related and personal services on lower floors.

The southern part, adjacent to quiet residential areas, was defined as a judicial-related area, therefore legal-related offices including the High, Regional, Domestic and Summary Courts and Prosecutors Office are located there.

And a park is allocated between these two areas, and it functions as not only as a place for daily recreational activities but also as an important sheltering place and base for protecting people's lives in the case of disaster.

The liveliness of Ropponmatsu Area once lost with the campus relocation, has come back with newly planned premises opened in 2017 - 2018, especially the Fukuoka City Science Museum as the center of attraction. It is crowded with families with children, especially during school holidays and weekends. And a trendy bookstore with a coffee shop and a high-end supermarket in the same building also attracts a wide range of age groups to the area as well as the residents. The increase of people visiting the town can be seen in the number of passengers using the Fukuoka City Subway’s Ropponmatsu Station, from 3,090,000 in 2016 to 4,704,000 in 2018, 1.5 times up in two years.

This area is also close to major parks of Fukuoka City, like Ohori Park and Maizuru Park in the north, where new development project is in progress, and Fukuoka Zoo and Botanical Garden in the south-east. Toward the future, the area is also expected to thrive further with linkage to these areas as well as the principal transportation point between the residential areas in the west and the city center of Fukuoka City.

[Case ID: Urban Renewal UR-06]


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