With the aim of exploring issues concerning urban residents affected by the rapid urbanization in Asia, the Symposium on Urbanization and Residents in Asia was held at Inamori Hall on Kyushu University’s Ito Campus on July 11, 2019. The symposium was co-organized by the Collaborative Platform in Research and Education on Humanities and Social Sciences (http://commons.kyushu-u.ac.jp/), established in 2018, and the Urban Studies Cluster of the Kyushu University Institute for Asian and Oceanian Studies (http://q-aos.kyushu-u.ac.jp/), established in 2019.
Following opening remarks by Professor Seinosuke Ide from the Collaborative Platform, the symposium was divided into a speech session and a commentary session. Mr. Atsushi Koresawa, director of the UN-HABITAT Fukuoka Office, delivered the first of two speeches in the speech session. Under the title “Urbanization, Population Movement, and Residence Issues,” he gave an overview from a global perspective of the issues associated with urbanization around the world and introduced relevant policies introduced by the United Nations, highlighting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular.
The other speech was delivered by Dr. Yin Tang, chief researcher at the Fukuoka Asian Urban Research Center, with the title “Community Development and Foreign Residents.” Taking a local perspective, the speech introduced the internationalization of Fukuoka City and city policies supporting foreign residents, including international students, and explored ways to build a culturally diverse community.
The commentary session featured commentaries on the two speeches from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, including contemporary art by Professor Masahiro Ushiroshoji from the Faculty of Humanities, environmental psychology by Professor Hirofumi Minami from the Faculty of Human-Environment Studies, international politics by Associate Professor Toru Oga from the Faculty of Law, and environmental economics by Associate Professor Hidemichi Fujii from the Faculty of Economics.
The symposium enabled and facilitated interdisciplinary exploration and exchanges between academics and practitioners, providing an opportunity for researchers and students in Kyushu University to build relationships with local and global partners to address challenges facing urban residents.