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Global Center of Excellence (G-COE）
Urban Research Plaza in Osaka City University is a new type of research and educational institution. In the year 2007, the urban research center was selected as Global Center of Excellence by Japan's ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology (MEXT). The government-supported five-year program is named as "Reinventing the City for Cultural Creativity and Social Inclusion". The program is an interdisciplinary examination of urban governance under the banner of cultural creativity and social inclusion.
The program forms creative urban spaces through the process which grounded in the current theories on creative cities. These urban venues focus on the urban capability to breed culture and industry. Such spaces elicit the diverse creative potential of the citizenry through social experimentation in "field plazas". The field plaza offices, also called as social laboratories, are directly participating in the projects which offer an arena of exploring the wisdom of citizens (civic wisdom).
The G-COE program takes up the topics which recreate the urban community through the arts and achieve social inclusion through self-support aid. The researchers build up a stock of comparative studies on benchmarked cities from the global perspective and absorb civic wisdom of creative solutions to actual problems confronted by cities. This accumulated knowledge is combined with theories of urban science to produce the dynamism which has been absent from conventional urban studies.
The Program is divided into the following four units focusing on different aspects of urban culture.