The Chubu region refers to the central part of Japan, and at its heart is the city of Nagoya. With a population total of over 2.26 million, Nagoya has played a vital role over the years as the core of central Japan’s economy. Its importance will further increase when operations begin on the Linear Chuo Shinkansen, which is expected to shrink the travel time between Tokyo and Nagoya to 40 minutes from the current 89 minutes in 2027, and down to 27 minutes from the current 48 minutes between Nagoya and Osaka in 2045.
Well aware of such developments, the city of Nagoya, together with the prefectural and national governments and various business operators, is drawing up plans to rebuild the city into a super terminal with worldwide appeal.
The plan is comprised of four key goals and is scheduled for completion in about 15 years, in line with the start of the new shinkansen.
The first goal is to turn Nagoya into the hub and frontline of the region that plays a broad, international role. This will specifically be done by reinforcing the city functions required of a business and exchange center, taking full advantage of Nagoya’s geographic convenience and its long-standing history as a manufacturing power. Concurrently, the city will reinforce its business and related support activities, stock exchange, as well as technology transmission functions. At the same time, it will work to entice universities and colleges to establish campuses there, to better serve as the knowledge center driving further industrial development and growth in the region.
The city will also promote tourism and heighten the welcoming atmosphere for guests by creating places to gather, rest and relax in and around the station, together with providing ample information on its sightseeing, cultural, commercial and accommodation areas.
Also of note is that the design tone and style will be unified in and around the station, including the station plaza and neighboring buildings, to create a refined face while retaining the lively bustle of the city.
Additionally, the city will fully utilize the irregularly shaped and dead-end plots of land produced through the construction of the shinkansen station.
Another important task that the city will undertake is disaster prevention. It will adopt stricter rules on the construction of new buildings to minimize damage resulting from such disasters as earthquakes. Furthermore, it will take measures to lower the heat island effect by encouraging the construction of eco-friendly buildings and other measures.
The second goal is to create a terminal station that is easy to use for anybody. This will be done by securing a good connection between the Linear Chuo Shinkansen and other modes of transportation, including the local railways, and creating easy-to-understand signage at relevant spots for smooth train changes. Altogether, these actions will greatly contribute to create an smooth, natural pedestrian flow, including first-time visitors and foreigners.
The streets around the station will also be redesigned, securing ample space, as well as providing access routes for taxis, private vehicles and buses. Furthermore, an east-west road and walkway will be built to improve connections between various transportation facilities. While on the west side of the station, a new north-south walkway will be constructed to facilitate better movement of pedestrians.
On a broader scale, access will be improved between the station and the expressway by creating detour routes and new ramps, while widening roads around the station.
The third goal is to create and connect the wide variety of Nagoya’s attractive features, such as the historic Nagoya Castle and the modern skyscrapers. Regarding this goal, the lead players will be the public. Their original ideas will be actively incorporated in order to turn the entire Nagoya area into an enjoyable place for people to visit. It is hoped that the local community can contribute through new discoveries and rediscoveries, or the creation and nurturing of local resources. Such actions will contribute to upgrade the value of the entire community.
The areas along the river and canal will also be cleaned and turned into parks and green spaces for people to enjoy a relaxing moment. Additionally, the underground promenade from the station will be extended to connect with other attractions, while pedestrian walkways will also be secured along the roads to make walking and hiking easier.
Furthermore, it has also been suggested to reinforce the connection between the bustling Sakae shopping district with Nagoya Castle through the introduction of a new tram system.
The fourth goal is the promotion of this plan through collaboration between the local municipality and the public.
While the local government takes a leadership role, various groups will be established between the administration and the public or by the public directly. These groups will be founded to cooperate and collaborate in various town-building activities. Each consolidation plan will be defined by taking into account the perspective of the users (the public), after which collaborative action will be taken between the administration and the people by clarifying the role of each player. Through this approach, Nagoya hopes to become an ideal city and station that satisfies all parties involved. Moving forward, various hearings will be held to listen to a broad variety of opinions. The city, meanwhile, will work with the prefectural and national government as the main player to execute, guide and support the overall plan. The administration will lead the movement to improve Nagoya Station, thus leading the action of the people and the area.