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Urban Retail Center Stimulation

Q: In what way can competitors in the city center collaborate?

A: Stakeholders can create a win-win relationship by establishing the framework to maximize mutual profits.

Fukuoka City’s Tenjin Area now flourishes as the commercial center as well as administrative and business center of the city. The stakeholders of the Tenjin Area collaborated and made the area the city’s commercial center, setting up the area management guidelines and organizing the events together in the area, such as festivals and sales events.

Urban Retail Center Stimulation: Tenjin Area

Fukuoka City is prospering as the biggest city in Kyushu Region, and its city center, Tenjin, flourishes as the commercial center and administrative and business center. However, it was different before 1950. The effort of the stakeholders of the area to collaborate made Tenjin the city’s commercial center.

Since the establishment of the Fukuoka Prefectural Government office in Tenjin in 1871, Tenjin Area had been the administrative center of Fukuoka City, where the prefectural and municipal main offices were located. The city’s commercial center was the Hakata Area, where commerce was a long tradition of the area. People used to go shopping in Hakata Area.

Things started to change when some Hakata shop owners moved to Tenjin right after World War II and established a shopping street, Shintencho, next to a department store, Iwataya, attached to a train terminal. Several shopping streets and a market also opened in the area. These shop owners in the area saw the importance of collaborating together rather than the competition, which was a common practice at that time. In 1948, they established an organization called Toshinkai with Iwataya, to organize the events together in the area, such as festivals and sales events. In 1955, another area development organization, called Tenjin Hattenkai, was also established with the change of the business world’s mainstream from individuals to corporations.

We Love Tenjin Council was formed in 2006, setting the guidelines for the development of the area and expanding its membership, including the city government, developers, landowners, retailers, residents, and the companies and people related to the area. These organizations all aimed to enhance the prosperity, vibrancy, and safety of Tenjin, taking part in the discussions and submitting petitions on the area’s development projects. They regularly have meetings and seminars discussing the area’s future and collaborate on the events, such as local festivals and bargain sales, park design, and transportation strategy. And these organizations and other neighboring area management councils collaborate for the area’s further growth.

With the ongoing Fukuoka City’s area development project, Tenjin Big Bang, the demolition and rebuilding of major buildings in the Tenjin Area are conducted. We Love Tenjin Council and the organizations in the area are working on collaborations to create the area's vibrancy and bring the amenities back even during this period, such as enjoyable events and fringe parking offered to the visitors. With the completion of the Tenjin Big Bang project, Tenjin Area is expected to serve as the western gateway to Japan, as well as the commercial center of Fukuoka City or Kyushu Region.

[Case ID: Urban Management UM-07]


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