u.lab helps envision a Creative Future for Port City Shimizu in Japan | CitySwitch 2012

For five days the CitySwitch program in the u.lab has been working intensively on a new vision for a retiring industrial port in the city of Shimizu in Japan.

Hosted by the fabulous Suzuyo Company, a key stakeholder and port company in the region, we broke into four teams and assessed the feasibility of floating stages, beach front Onsens, graffiti art camp, hot air balloon tours and a ambitious new community program of participatory urbanism.


Shimizu boasts a rare urban case in Japan: it is located in the region of the soon to be world treasure, Mount Fuji, and offers one of the only viewing locations where the ocean meets the mountain.


Shimizu has a rich industrial shipping history but is now facing dramatic changes due to the ever-increasing scale of container ships, pushing the business out of the inner harbour into the peripheral zone of Shimizu.


Over the five days, eight students from the u.lab and nine students from around Japan merged forces to create new ideas for the Shimizu port area. We visited local business, listened to the needs of the community and invested in heated sprints for diverse and novel ideas through the u.lab 5X5.


We are about to move into the final presentations – more information about these in the next post~!