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Tenjin Big Bang: The Urban Transformation of Fukuoka

By Staff Writer
February 29, 2024
Long eclipsed by its larger peers, Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, Fukuoka has now become a leading city in economic, cultural, and touristic terms. It has the fastest-growing population of any city in Japan. Pleasant news for the people of Fukuoka, but not all that surprising when considering the major urban redevelopment efforts that have been made to bring the city to where it is today.
The City of Fukuoka
Since the 2010s, a series of new urban redevelopment projects and the revamping of numerous building complexes have enabled the crafting of a long-term vision for the city: to make it an economic and tourism hub that is both liveable and environmentally friendly. It is in this context that the Fukuoka Metropolitan Government's "Tenjin Big Bang" project was introduced in 2015.

Focusing on the bustling business and entertainment district of Tenjin, the idea is to breathe new life into the district through public-private sector cooperation, with tax and other regulatory incentives. The relaxation of regulations on the maximum height of buildings, drawn up in cooperation with the central government, is set to contribute very positively to this vision.
Fukuoka Seafront
Looking ahead, the city is hoping to see the construction of high-value-added buildings, offices, hotels, and shopping centres within a 500-metre radius of the Tenjin intersection, where two of the city's main roads meet: Meiji and Watanabe Avenue.
The Tenjin Area
In order to benefit from the scheme, however, developers are required to meet a number of criteria in line with the Tenjin Big Bang vision. These include, in particular, the obligation to propose designs consistent with adjoining buildings, whilst bringing a modernising touch to the whole district. A challenging task, all the more so with obligations to contribute to the 'greening' of the area through the integration of biophilic designs.

Shall this vision be fulfilled, it could turn Fukuoka into the economic and cultural hub it aspires to be.
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