Sponsor : NIKKEN SEKKEI LTD   Co-sponsor : Shinkenchiku-sha Co., Ltd.

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September 1, 2016
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What do we imagine when we hear the words, “public space”?

Many of us think of chaotic railway stations where millions come and go each day, green parks popular for morning markets and yoga, or libraries that function as living rooms and offices. Others think of street-side cafes offering the perfect afternoon break or backstreets echoing with the voices of children and elderly residents. Still others think of respectfully handled shared bicycles and shared cars or smart phones and social networking sites that take the user into a separate world ... Our cities abound with pleasant, enjoyable spaces that blur the line between public and private.

On the other hand, Japan’s resident population has peaked and its urban populations will soon begin shrinking. Meanwhile, mobile, nonresident populations such as foreign visitors, domestic travelers, and travelers abroad continue to grow. The nation’s first Olympic Paralympic Games in some 60 years will be held in Tokyo, and how to revitalize and redirect a city rebuilt posthaste in the era of Japan’s first Olympics six decades ago has become a pressing issue.

Today, Japan has reached a turning point when new activities, lifestyles, and workstyles are beginning to take form as Japan’s cities seek ways to become mature cities.

In the “city to come,” which looks beyond growth to a rich maturity, what places do we view as “public space” and how should they be designed? What, is the character of the activities they host and what kind of mechanisms can be designed to generate and carry on such activities?

Using your sharp eye and flexible thinking as one who will actively live and create in the city to come, please design the urban public space that is to come, on the premise of an arbitrary existing place.