Joint Usage / Research Center

General Outline

Brochure [PDF, 0.7MB]

The Osaka City University Urban Research Plaza (URP), in line with the university’s philosophy of “The University exists with the City, and the City exists with the University,” regards cities as places where scholarship is created.

We at URP have been confronting urban issues head-on by mobilizing expert knowledge and openly communicating our education and research results with our fellow citizens. In so doing, we are also contributing to local communities and international society. Together with various citizen groups that likewise wish to realize ‘true wealth’, we are constantly seeking to enhance the functions of urban culture, economy, industry, medicine, etc… Furthermore, by leading the field in comprehensive and academic research on cities and communities, we build on the basic principle of education as “an urban place” or a “city university of its citizens.”


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The URP is driving forward its previous Global COE Program of “Reconstructing Cities towards Cultural Creation and Social Inclusion (2007-2011)”. We are doing this through cooperation with international researcher communities and networks, especially through our own Overseas Centers and Offices, and we have already achieved a research track record involving multiple academic fields that include, for example, “Cultural Creation and Social Inclusion” and “Disaster Reconstruction through Art.” By making use of joint-research activities for developing integrated domestic and international field networks, and cross-border connections, the URP has taken initiative from its wide experience of platform creation between international communities and practical knowledge.

Since April 2014, the URP has joined the national program of “Joint Usage / Research Center” by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as the Platform for Leading-Edge Urban Studies. The Platform is expected to enhance URP’s existing research network and resources through extensive collaboration with communities, partner research institutions, and society in general. We are exploring theoretical and pratical models for resilient cities in the 21st century based on urban field research in Asia as well as in other parts of the world, by establishing an internatonally-recognized academic “platform” for innovative, cutting-edge urban studies that help to boost cultural crativity and social inclusion.

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First Unit: Urban Theory

Unit Theme

Human/Social Science or Interdisciplinary Research on the effects of changing industry structures and population decreases on cities as a result of globalization, and practical policy-related work on urban governance.

Research Fields

Urban Sociology, Urban Economics, Urban Administration, Theories of Urban Industry, Urban Social History, Housing Planning.

Keywords

Globalization, Creative Cities, Shrinking Cities, Large Urban Regimes, Urban Law, CDB Housing.

Research Projects

(1) Cities in the Post-Regional Reform Era, (2) The Regeneration of Osaka through the Industrialization of Social Design, (3) The Conditions of Establishing Creative Tourism and the Possibilities of Networking Creative Cities, (4) The Social Experiment of Constructing A Network to Preserve Nagaya (terraced houses) in Osaka, (5) Law and Society of Osaka in the Edo (early-modern) period, (6) Comprehensive Research on Toyotomi Osaka Castle and Its Bourg (“Jokamachi”).


Second Unit: Cultural Creation

Unit Theme

Promoting empirical research projects towards urban regeneration by means of art and design. Improving the creation of attractive cities by rediscovering and utilizing spatiotemporal resources that symbolize pre-modern architecture and waterfronts. Conducting empirical experiments on urban regeneration by introducing art programs into community rebuilding etc., and new values and expressions.

Research Fields

Urban Planning, Art Management, Architectural Planning, Culture Policies, Urban Designs, Tourism Policy.

Keywords

Area Management, Social Experiments, Communities, Cultural Resources, Tourism, Living Architecture.

Research Projects

(1) Developing Urban Planning Management Methods through Wide-ranging Empirical Social Experiments on City Center Revival, (2) Research on Utilizing Historic Building Stocks as Urban Regeneration Methods, (3) Developing Arts Management as Social Capital.


Third Unit: Social Inclusion

Unit Theme

Conducting field surveys on ‘needy persons’ (in the broad sense of the housing poor, the elderly, minorities, the homeless in Japan and East Asia) and their support measures, or conducting empirical research towards their social inclusion, by focusing on housing support and community efforts in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Research Fields

Geography, Sociology, Housing Welfare Studies, Social Welfare Studies, Urban Planning, Machizukuri.

Keywords

Minorities, Needy Persons, Housing Support, NGO’s, Machizukuri.

Research Projects

(1) Externally Funded Related Projects, (2) Geography of Creating Inclusive Cities Based on Homeless Support (in a Broad Sense) in East Asia, (3) Japanese Style Gentrification Turning Small Cheap Rental Apartments into Social Housing, (4) Survey on Existing Housing and Employment Support that Can Pioneer New Projects under the Self-Dependency Law for Needy Persons, (5) Research on Multicultural Community Models, (6) The Current Conditions and Issues of Prefecture-Registered Service Housing for the Elderly.


Fourth Unit: International Society Design

Unit Theme

Developing human resources able to take the lead in evaluating / implementing / suggesting urban or regional designs that harmonize ecology, society and people, and that further develop urban and regional culture. There is a particular focus on fostering people who can design, manage and direct models, technologies and tools for managing an interface between such actors as the policy makers, urban planners, engineers and residents.

Research Fields

Economic Geography, Political Geography, Social Design Studies, Information Design Studies, Cultural Ecology, Strategic Management Accounting.

Keywords

Urban Creativity, Inter-urban Networks, Community Revitalization, Social Design, Business Location, Political Geography, GIS, Transport Engineering, Integration of Humanities and Science.

Research Projects

(1) The Creation of Academic Space through Socio-cultural Collegia, (2) Globalization and Stimulating Urban / Local Economies, (3) GIS in Healthcare, (4) Relation between Political Geography and Science Sociology, (5) Transport Behavior Analysis and Social Design, (6) Cultural Heritage and Urban Creativity, (7) Interface of Goods and Services and Shared Services.