アゴラ2014 開幕セッション・キーノートセッション 開催報告

  • アゴラキーノートセッション5「人とまちと地球をつなぐ新しいパラダイム ~持続可能な未来社会のデザイン~」

    Agora Keynote Session 5 "Connecting individuals with their community - Designing a sustainable future -"


開催概要/Session Information

  • 日時:11月9日(日) 10:30-12:00
    Date:10:30-12:00 November 9th (Sun), 2014
  • 会場:日本科学未来館 アゴラステージ(1F)
    Venue:National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), Agora Stage(Floor1)
  • 主催:JST社会技術研究開発センター
    Organizer:Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society (RISTEX), JST


登壇者と発表資料/Presenters and Presentation Materials

  • 石田秀輝 合同会社地球村研究室 代表社員
    Emile H. Ishida, Earth Village Research Lab. LLC, Representative Partner

    発表資料 [3,686KB]

  • 前野隆司 慶應義塾大学 教授
    Takashi Maeno, Keio University, Professor

    発表資料 [407KB]

  • 西郷真理子 都市建築家, 株式会社まちづくりカンパニー・シープネットワーク 代表取締役
    Mariko Saigo, Urban Planner, Machizukuri Company Sheep Network, President

    発表資料 [16,332KB]

レポート/Session Report


On November 7- 9, 2014, Science Agora 2014 was held with the theme “How can we come together for building relations between future society and science?”, and it was an opportunity for various stakeholders to participate in discussions on science and society. This section reports the discussions in Keynote Session 5 “Connecting individuals with their community - Designing a sustainable future -”.


From left to right: Ms. Mariko Saigo, Professor Takashi Maeno and Professor Emeritus Emile H. Ishida (the moderator).


Science Agora 2014 started on November 7. In the keynote session titled “Connecting individuals with their community - Designing a sustainable future -”, which was held on November 9, the participants at the session exchanged views on how people should live in communities, and how we should think about the balance between technological progress, economic growth, people's daily lives and community development. Takashi Maeno, Dean and Professor at the Graduate School of System Design and Management, Keio University and Mariko Saigo, urban planner and President of Machizukuri Company Sheep Network spoke in the session. Emile H. Ishida, Representative Partner of the Earth Village Research Lab. LLC and Professor Emeritus at Tohoku University served as the moderator.

Eudaemonics and future town planning



“How do people become happy?” “What should we do to create a happy society?” These are the themes that Prof. Maeno is currently working on. He has been studying mechanical engineering and the human mind. Using multivariate analysis, Prof. Maeno came to the conclusion that people can get lasting happiness by obtaining “non-positional goods” such as health, safety and certain psychological factors, rather than “positional goods” such as money, commodities and social status. The psychological factors are divided into “four factors for happiness”: self-actualization and growth; connection and appreciation; positive and optimistic attitudes; and independence and keeping one’s own pace. He pointed out when people do their everyday jobs or provide new products or services based on science and technology, they should think about how they can contribute to the fulfillment of these psychological factors in others. Prof. Maeno said, “to what extent can we make people happy as a result of our work? I think that we can create a happy and sustainable future, if we can design products and services from an engineering standpoint on the basis of the four factors.”


The Japanese population increased as its economy grew, but it is now declining. Ms. Saigo pointed out that the optimum population size is probably about 80 million when considering the size of Japan. This was the population size before the cities expanded into rural areas (urban sprawl) in Japan. Ms. Saigo said that the recent disaster proved that the areas of cities which existed before the expansion started (historical residential areas) are safer. She also said that “civic pride”, which is a sense of belonging and pride that everyone has for where they live, is the main factor which makes daily life comfortable. She said this is why she is working on participatory bottom-up town planning rather than top-down urban planning.


Ms. Saigo explained, “in the past we tried to contribute to economic growth by abandoning local characteristics and relying on the sense of values created outside local communities. From now on it is important for each of us to have a sense of ownership to our lives and reconsider how we want to live. What is required in the coming years is a type of community management known as “shrink smart” projects which create local daily goods and service industries by sharing resources and using land effectively.

From growth-oriented science and technology to science and technology for happiness


Economic growth brought various problems including environmental problems. A balance between environmental conservation and economic growth is required in order to create a sustainable society. We are part of the generation that is tackling this new challenge. Prof. Emer. Ishida said, “for the first time in history, humans are at the stage of considering restricting and revising our lifestyles by choice.”


How can we achieve a sustainable society? Prof. Maeno pointed out that it is necessary for more people to think about happiness based on non-positional goods and also to change their lives to ones which do not restrict or restrain them. He proposed, “let’s put out ideas for a society which makes people happy rather than only thinking about economic growth, based on science and technology”.


Looking back on life 100 years ago helps us to think about life in 100 years’ time. When looking at lifestyles in the Edo period (1600-1868), towns and cities coexisted with nature, and communities supported society both in cities and rural areas. Ms. Saigo said that land should be used by everyone and it is necessary to create spaces that are “semi-public”, shared by everyone while privacy is also secured. Many people gather in shared spaces, where people meet new people, which helps to create new industries and economic circulation within local areas. Ms. Saigo’s idea is that shared spaces can even contribute to the creation of a new type of economy.


Prof. Emer. Ishida pointed out that science and technology may have caused part of the disturbance to the communal culture explained above. He said that in the past, communities were created through even just gathering in one place to wash clothes. Then he added, “you could say that these communities disappeared due to mechanization and automation. What should we think about the relationship between technology and communities?” What would your answer be to this question?


Prof. Maeno, who has been conducting research into technological progress and innovation, said that in the past, people thought that progress in science and technology leads to progress in society. Both companies and society in general may have concentrated too much on technological progress for winning, and that pursued convenience and economic rationality. He pointed out that it is necessary to reconsider what science and technology are for rather than believing in growth-oriented science and technology, and that it will be increasingly important to consider what happiness is in society in the future.


In order to create a society that makes everyone happy, it is necessary to collaborate with others in addition to making individual efforts. In the session, the hypothesis that collaboration spurs new innovations was proposed. Ms. Saigo commented that innovations are not limited to state-of-the-art technologies. She said that a town restaurant becoming a community restaurant, through the creation of a system for local economic circulation where the restaurant uses products from local fishing and farming villages, can also be called an innovation. Ms. Saigo said, “making a new discovery is significant, but bringing about change by revising daily life is also significant”.

The kind of communities that connect people


Prof. Emer. Ishida said that when children 30 years ago were asked about their image of what the future might look like, many of them came up with a futuristic world created by scientific and technological developments including robots and flying cars. However, Prof. Emer. Ishida said when he asked the same question to today's children, their answer was a world where their families and friends lived with a smile on their face. He said that this made him realize that people have started to attach importance not only to scientific and technological development but also to ties between family members, and connections with others when thinking about a happy society.


How should we re-create ties and connections between people? Ms. Saigo said that it is important to re-create physical spaces in order to connect people.


Ms. Saigo explained, “for example, rather than just putting benches in a semi-public space, if you choose a sunny spot in the semi-public space to put the benches, it will become a comfortable place where people come and sit down. When people gather at a comfortable place, some people start talking to each other. In the process of modernization, we have omitted all the things that make people comfortable in order to achieve efficiency. However, in Europe for example, they have been placing importance on how they can create spaces in the streets for people to communicate with each other, although these spaces might look uneconomic to those how do not understand their value. Some provincial cities are declining because they are unattractive as cities with no uneconomic casual spaces”.

「都会と地方を比較すると、地方のほうが幸せなのでしょうか」という石田氏の質問に対して、前野氏はissue + designとともに行った調査の結果から、人口密度と幸せには相関関係はなく、「都会=不幸せ、地方=幸せ」といった図式ではなかったと指摘。幸せを実感している地域の特徴として、普段の交友関係などの他者との「つながり」と「幸せ」に相関関係がみられたと言います。住んでいる人たちが他者とのつながりを自覚すれば、都会でも地方でも幸せを感じるという研究結果をもとに、まちにおいていかにつながりを生み出すコミュニティをつくるかが、幸せな社会をつくる大きな要素だと説明しました。「地域に対する帰属意識や、他者とのつながりを感じられる取り組みをどうつくり出すかが大きな鍵です」(前野氏)。

Prof. Emer. Ishida asked another question, “are people living in provincial areas happier than people living in urban areas, as people often believe?” In response to this question, Prof. Maeno explained based on the results of the survey that he conducted with Issue Plus Design that there was no correlation between population density and happiness, and the schema of “people in urban areas being unhappy and people in provincial areas being happy” did not apply. Instead, when looking at the characteristics of areas where residents feel happy, Prof. Maeno found a correlation between happiness and connections with others such as daily friendships. He said that regardless of whether it is an urban area or a provincial area, the extent to which we can create communities within each area that connect people is the major factor for creating a happy society, in light of the study results which show that residents feel happy when they realize that they have connections with others. “The key point is how we can create activities that help people feel a sense of belonging to the place where they live and create activities which make people feel connections with others,” Prof. Maeno said.


Creating spaces in towns which make people's life comfortable requires different standpoints from economic rationality. One of the factors which make spaces comfortable is nature. Spaces rich in greenery and nature rather than inorganic spaces are essential for people to have a comfortable time. Prof. Emer. Ishida said, “If we can understand the values that people will need in society in the future, we can use the information to identify the kinds of technologies we should develop”. Coexisting with nature will be another important theme rather than the traditional idea of conquering nature. There is a need to consider what science and technology can do from these new standpoints.


The discussion in the session was concluded as follows. In order to achieve a sustainable society, it is necessary to reconsider what is the ideal type of city, consider how we should facilitate people in building connections and consider how science and technology can contribute to these efforts. Studying the ideal relationship between people and their communities, and developing science and technology which contribute to a happy society will in turn help to achieve a global sustainable society.