Share Town Consortium

Objectives and background for establishment

Aside from being confronted with the issues of aging and depopulation, many of Japan’s local governments continue to struggle with aging infrastructure, stagnant industry and employment. In addition, the measures implemented by local governments to increase residential populations and develop public services for residents with diversified values are reaching their limits.
Against this background the Keio Research Institute at SFC has promoted joint research with COSMOS INITIA Co., Ltd., while obtaining cooperation from local governments in each region. “Share Town” is the key phrase for the research.
Share Town is a strategy that strives to reinvigorate regions and solve local issues by creating regional centers and social systems capable of sharing city (“town”) resources spread throughout downtown areas and local cities to promote effective utilization plans that meet the characteristics of local governments. This is achieved through cooperation between various organizations including corporations, local governments, regional groups and universities.
Residents’ sense of values and behaviors are tending to diversify since they are currently facing changes in living styles (having multiple residences, living in different cities/areas based on the stages of their career and activities, etc.), consumption styles (going from being satisfied to feeling empathetic, from consuming goods to co-creating experiences, and from owning commodities to sharing commodities, etc.), and working styles (time-and location-independent work styles, telecommuting, adopting a nomadic style of working, placing importance on creative environments, etc.).
As a regional strategy in response to the changing styles of residents and their diversifying sense of values and behaviors, city resources need to be reallocated to meet the needs of these residents, and new types of regional centers and social systems need to be created where residents can spend time increasing their experiential value in everyday scenarios such as living at home, spending time, working, studying, and having fun.
Each region faces social issues, and continuous efforts are being made to solve these issues and respond to region revitalization needs. At the same time, concepts regarding new business and policy development become clearer by studying new types of regional centers and social systems that adapt to the various styles of residents.
Through cooperative efforts between various organizations such as corporations, local governments, regional groups, and universities, this consortium researches and develops regional centers and social systems capable of sharing city (“town”) resources spread throughout downtown areas and local cities based on knowledge gained from research/development and practices conducted until now. The consortium also works to develop and test support tools and facility models, conduct investigative research on leading examples, transmit information, and conduct promotional activities.

< Themes for research and development >

  1. Researching and developing social infrastructure
    Research on new types of regional centers, renovation of public facilities and regional infrastructure, etc.
  2. Researching and developing social services
    Development of administrative policies and services, development of membership systems and information media, etc.

Outline of research and development

  1. Researching and developing social infrastructureLocal governments throughout Japan have many renovation examples that reflect the current condition and future needs of local governments, such as utilizing decrepit government office buildings, public facilities, and abolished schools, etc. In addition, new types of public/social infrastructure which residents use on a daily basis are also increasing based on regional marketing through collaboration between local governments, corporations, regional groups, etc. These new types of infrastructure include community activity centers, shared offices, centers for stay, learning activity centers, research and development centers, and entrepreneur support centers.
    Some of these infrastructures have succeeded in creating a flow of visitors by allowing not only local residents to use the facilities, but also visitors from other regions as well.
    While gaining hints from leading examples such as the one mentioned above, research on the concept of social infrastructure in Share Town will tie to the development of prototypes and trial renovations.
  2. Researching and developing social servicesWorking to develop: administrative policies and services in response to the changing styles and diversifying sense of values/behaviors of residents; membership systems and information media; and diagnostic tools.

Researchers, managers and professors

Masatoshi TamamuraDirector Professor, Faculty of Policy Management
Consortium representative, overall management and supervision
Toshiaki Kojima Project Professor, Graduate School of Media and Governance
Center model research
Koichi Nagase Project Professor, Graduate School of Media and Governance
Research on public facility renovation, research on administrative policy
Madoka Inagaki Project Researcher, Graduate School of Media and Governance
Development of methods to diagnose Share Town