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About Us

Foundation of Machizukuri Institute of Tokyo University of Science and Obuse Town was established on July 18th, 2005. It has placed Obuse Town as a subject of survey and research. On the other hand, the participation of townspeople in research and discussions has changed the whole town into a university campus. This is the ideal state in which the Institute seeks: "University as a town, town as a university," the new "Machizukuri (town-building)," and also the creation of a new place for education and research.

Obuse Town has chosen to be independent in regard to the strong current of "consolidation of smaller municipalities in the Heisei Era." There are many ways to achieve independence, but we recognize independence when townspeople gain the ability to think and to create the town's future by acknowledging the exact state of the town today. It is similar to the ideal of universities that educate to create independent individuals. To realize this ideal, accurate surveys and research designed to grasp the precise state are necessary, and it is indispensable to establish an institution where the townspeople will be able to participate in the process to decide and to execute the policies. Ryozo Ichimura, the mayor of Obuse Town, has made a public commitment in his campaign to invite the university to change the customary way of Machizukuri policy which is based on experience and tradition. He believes that the "Machizukuri Institute" will assume an essential role in achieving a small independent self-government by carrying out surveys and research, holding workshops and proposing concrete policies.

When our research/surveys began, we were astonished that the basic data concerning architecture and urban structures were insufficient to actually promote Machizukuri. It was customary to leave the actual content of the project to the professional construction workers after the plan was decided. The workers used the same method and technology over and over so that the renewal of data concerning the site was not needed. This has resulted in no data accumulation. Moreover, this situation has caused similar landscapes to spread all over Japan. Therefore, we believe it is an essential role of the Institute to provide a place where townspeople can participate and cooperate in the process of Machizukuri.
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