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Urban Research Plaza

A 'Public Square' for Urban Studies and Community Development

The Urban Research Plaza was created by Osaka City University in April 2006. The University has consistently put its energy into urban studies, and produced results befitting a metropolitan university.

As its name indicates, the strongest feature of Urban Research Plaza is its framework, based on the image of a 'public square.' Unlike ordinary graduate schools and research institutions, Urban Research Plaza does not house permanent facilities or staff members who do research within the facilities and contribute to society with their research results. Instead, the Urban Research Plaza features small, re-locatable satellites ('field plazas' and overseas centers/offices) to be opened in Osaka and major cities in Asia, in addition to the small number of staff and core facilities (Takahara Hall) located at the university campus. Its staff members constantly go out into the field and go abroad for research and activities for community development. With this in mind, the Urban Research Plaza serves as the center of networks for research and urban revitalization, or an open forum where people gather and meet around the theme of 'cities.'

Cities are supposed to be an arena where new knowledge and culture is created through encounters and discourse amidst a gathering of a large number of people unknown to each other. The Urban Research Plaza is aimed at creating a research organization in urban settings of the 21st century that will implement a wide variety of endeavors with its unique structure and approach.

A University in Harmony with Communities and a Research Organization Linked to Citizens and the City

As its design shows, Urban Research Plaza features 'mobile' research satellites (local plazas) in the field of urban activities. Such research facilities provide places for joint research and activities for community development with citizens and private and public sectors. To this end, local plazas are located in multi-tenanted buildings, office corners, and town houses so that they can unite individuals and function as strategic spaces for the practical design of projects.

Osaka is currently a 'city of suffering' which faces the greatest problems in Japan in more ways than one. The philosophy of the Urban Research Plaza is to be a research institution in accord with Osaka City's communities, and to share pain, pleasure and rage with the citizens.

The Core of International Networks for Urban Research

The Urban Research Plaza also has great ambition and a sense of purpose. The Plaza aims at serving as an international center for urban studies. To this end, the Urban Research Plaza is building international networks of urban research and policies through annual international symposiums and workshops, inviting the world's leading researchers and policy-makers working on urban planning. Through such activities, the Urban Research Plaza aims to represent not only Osaka City University, but also the city of Osaka.