- Cities as Brands: Osaka City in Japan Reinvents itself   click here to open paper content186 kb
by    Srinivas, Hari | hsrinivas@gdrc.org   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Osaka city in Japan has been tackling a number of environmental and economic problems to revitalize and reinvent itself – by advocating ‘Osaka’ as a ‘brand’, of quality goods and services, and of planning and administration.
The case study focuses on the city of Osaka in Japan. As Japan industrialized over this century, its singular focus on economic growth created a number of unforeseen problems that cities and towns around the country are even now struggling to confront. This is particularly true on the environmental front.

Osaka city exemplifies this trend - With an area of 220 sq.km and a population of more than 3 million, the city has a population density of 11,866 persons per sq.km. Osaka’s urban GDP of USD 2 billion exceeds that of Hong Kong or Thailand.

Osaka has served as an international gateway since ancient times, beginning in the 5th century. This background as a meeting point for people, goods, and information fostered a liberal, forward-looking and enterprising spirit in the people of Osaka. This mindset, combined with the city’s economic prosperity, supported the flourishing of the arts and enabled Osaka to play a leading role in the cultural development of the nation.

But it has had its share of problems, both disintegrative and integrative. Disintegrative forces of particular importance were the industrial development and the resultant environmental degradation and pollution, as well as the more recent economic downturns. These disintegrative forces themselves became rallying points for integration – strong environmental management policies and strategies, urban planning and development, community involvement and heritage conservation.

The City of Osaka has been making efforts to enhance its profile as an international cultural center by promoting cultural, artistic, academic, and sports activities in the city, and enriching them through cultural exchanges with the rest of the world.

An interesting concept used to revitalize and reinvent the city was using ‘Osaka’ as a ‘brand’ – of quality goods and services, and planning and administration – that brings the city together and creates a strong identity.
inegration, revitalization, city brands, environment economic development
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