ECEU Good Practice Award
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Urban Design Centre Kashiwa, The University of Tokyo

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Following the establishment of the new ‘Kashiwa’ Tokyo University campus, which is part of a series of important public, commercial and housing developments along the recent Tsukuba Express commuter line, the University of Tokyo, Chiba University, the municipality of Kashiwa and Mitsui Real Estate Company, responsible for the urban development in the Kashiwa No Ha area established the Urban Design Center Kashiwa (UDCK)

UDCK is an innovative independent non-profit collaboration, addressing issues of common concern related to environmental, socio-political and urban planning issues. The UDCK provides a platform, supporting citizens active in the promotion of their neighbourhood to interact with local city authorities, academia and real-estate developers.

Remarkably the UDCK also developed into a place for education as well, the GSFS IEDP design-studios, including Ausmip Master students are organized here and are permanently accessible to the local public.

Since its inception the UDCK developed into innovative exchange platform, and has a considerable pedagogic impact on the pedagogy, research and design education of the GSFS. Traditional design education and research is primarily project based, however, the specificity of the design-studios, in combination with long-term research and educational projects carries an innate risk, in the sense that the researchers becomes the ultimate reference and authority, inclined to confirm their own research hypothesis. External verification beyond faculty borders is therefore crucial. The UDCK’s high-level participation and inclusion into the design research of citizens, city authorities and developers provides professors and researchers with opportunities to test their hypotheses, materialized and enriched by graduate students, at the same time exposing their proposals to third parties, generating a permanent triangular relationship between academia, students and stakeholders. AUSMIP Ì staff, PhD students and post-doc researchers will be enabled to conduct part of their research at the UDCK collaborating with professors and graduate students.

UDCK, Urban Design Center Kashiwa, local contact Prof. DEGUCHI Atsushi,

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