Group Tour for Professionals in Town Planning and Community Design from EU Countries

The Elan Vital of the Community: Individuals as Citizens
EU-Japan Year of People to People Exchanges

*The above-mentioned papers are published in
"Journal on Public Affairs (Kokyokenkyu), Vol. 2 No.1 June 2005".


As the framework of "The 2005 EU-Japan Year of People-to-People Exchange," the Japan Foundation has invited a group of experts working in various fields from overseas to Japan in the field of community building, regional policies of the EU, and spontaneous partnership of citizens under a common topic:
The Elan Vital of the Community: Individuals as Citizens
Culture, A System of Sharing Wealth and Life Values.

With this topic, we would like to discuss how we might "share the creative value of culture to reactivate and regenerate cities with the participation of citizens." We would like to provide an opportunity to all participants to discuss the most appropriate topics on town building and learn from one another's experiences. Also, we would like to look for new possibilities related to "towns that continue to live prosperously with the help of public energy and efforts."

Here, community or town means not just the buildings or structures, but "a place where people manage their day-to-day lives," which, in other words, means a complex cultural environment. We would also like to consider the meaning of a community that continues to live and flourish along with its cultural monuments, landscape, and cultural events and festivals, etc. We would like to look at it from the viewpoint of the citizens' participation and sustainability from generation to generation. Also, we would like to redefine the meaning of wealth and culture as well as public goods and "region" in today's context.

We expect also to discuss the matter of what kind of sustainable system is needed to activate a spontaneous participation of community members, what type of voluntary system of community is required to generate a new system of culture values, and also what could be the possible contribution of international cultural exchange to that end. We will discuss the town as a "place" where people meet, resonate, and have "chemical reactions"—a mechanism that formulates the individual characteristics of a town, and will also investigate the role of our participants and the Japan Foundation as catalysts in this whole process. We would appreciate it very much if each participant would introduce to us some pioneering efforts to create new cultural values from the global viewpoint of citizens, youth, culture, borders, etc.
Thank you

March 2005
The Japan Foundation

Symposium for the Japan-EU People to People Exchange Year 2005
The Elan Vital of the Community: Individuals as Citizens
Culture: A System of Sharing Wealth and Life Values

(Entrance free on reservation, with English-Japanese simultaneous interpretation)

Date: March 29, 2005, 10:00-18:00
Venue: The Japan Foundation International Conference Hall
Organization: The Japan Foundation
Chiba University 21st Century COE Program: Public Studies for a Sustainable Welfare Society
Booking: Tel. 03-5369-6060, FAX: 03-5369-6036,
Contact: The Japan Foundation
Cultural Affairs Department, Community Leaders and Youth Exchange Division (Naomi Takasu)
Tel 03-5369-6060, Fax 03-5369-6036

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