Extending from the Sea of Japan to the crest of the Northern Japan Alps, Toyama is a thriving high tech city surrounded by and infused with nature.
Present day Toyama was created from the remarkably successful merger of 7 former municipalities with urban, suburban and rural populations. Deeply embedded in the city and citizens’ identity is both a deep, Japanese sense of nature’s sacredness and the centrality of agricultural and rural lands. Regarding the latter, our understanding of the importance of a robust relationship between rural and urban especially benefited from discussions with Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Director of the World Bank’s Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice. With an ancient cultural and artistic heritage and deep interpersonal and community bonds, Toyama Vision 2050 emphasizes “Community, Nature and Innovation for the Future” and the critical balance of essential elements which must be maintained to nurture an enduring and resilient Toyama.
The Toyama vision is to be a vibrant city of innovation and a tourism gateway, a model of resilience and environment friendly living, where strong community bonds help citizens flourish, and the high quality of an active lifestyle for all its residents achieves a harmonious balance between traditional arts and modern technology and between economic prosperity and the inspiring natural surroundings of the pristine Northern Japan Alps.
The Toyama Vision for People is to continue to develop and promote a flourishing, mutually supportive community for all generations. Japanese culture has three interrelated ideas which are important for understanding this. In descending order of importance, one should first engage in jijyo, self help, then seek kyojyo, mutual help, and finally turn to kojyo, public help. For example, with our rapidly aging society we try to enable our seniors to live active, independent lives. They in turn can support younger people with families, who in turn support our seniors. This strengthens social bonds, enhances civic pride, and increases opportunities for self-realization regardless of age, gender or disability. This is Toyama’s social vision of self support and mutual support which will be passed on to the next generation.
The Toyama Vision for Infrastructure is a sustainable infrastructure network connecting and enhancing urban, suburban and rural areas to support citizen self realization. The heart of Toyama’s infrastructure vision is the sustainable compact city which includes social as well as transportation infrastructures. This integrates disaster risk management into a labor and cost saving IT and ICT technology-driven infrastructure through public-private collaborations, radiating reciprocally from the central city throughout the regional hubs and agricultural and rural areas.
The Toyama Vision for Prosperity is an entrepreneurial and flexible response to demographic change and the needs of every generation of citizens. While continuing to enhance its current strengths in the IT, pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries, Toyama’s innovative promotion of advanced technology industries such as aviation nanotechnology, robotics, and bio technology, creation of start-up incubators, and the infrastructure modifications and city promotion drive to grow the tourism industry, will attract industries, create jobs, engage young people, and provide opportunities for seniors who wish to continue working.
The Toyama Vision for the Environment is a harmonious balance between human health, animal health and the health of Toyama’s bountiful nature. This comprises two aspects, each reflecting a different though complementary value and ethical stance: environmental management (human health) and environmental conservation (the health of nature and animals for their own sake). Working with international organizations like UNEP, NOWPAP, SEforALL, IUCN and IGES, Toyama will continue to vigorously support eco-friendly socio-economic practices, efficient waste management systems, green industries and long range conservation plans.