A. History Until 2004
In the early
1980s, Dr. Hirofumi Ando, Chief, Program Coordination, Management and
Field Support Office, UNFPA, visited Kobe. He was taken by the
remarkable strategy that was then coming to fruition in "Port Island,"
the man-made island that was to be a remarkable solution to Kobe's
major problem, the limits of space.
In 1985, Dr.
Ando worked out how to conduct a comparative study of Singapore and
with observations as well from another new and developing port city,
Tomakomai, in Hokkaido. Working with a long term associate in the Nihon
University Population Research Institute and its director, Professor
Toshio Kuroda, UNFPA put together a collaborative team of social
scientists from Singapore, Kobe, Hokkaido, Tokyo, and the University of
Michigan in the USA. With this study, UNFPA entered into a cooperative
effort with the City of Kobe and with Nihon University's Population
1987, together with the Kobe Ciy Government, UNFPA held the "Asian
Conference on Population and Development in Medium-sized Cities" in
Kobe to deepen the understanding and recognition of urban
administrators and planners towards the urban issues caused by rapidly
growing population in urban areas such as employment, housing,
transportation, water, hygiene, environmental deterioration, and to
extend assistance by helping each nation form suitable policies. In the
"Kobe Declaration" adopted at the conference, it was suggested that a
network of information and human be established for reinforced
cooperation among the medium-sized cities in Asia to search for clues
of the solution to the various problems affecting the cities.
Asian Conference in 1987
antecedents, the Asian Urban Information Center of Kobe (AUICK) was
formed on 1 April 1989 in a formal agreement between the United Nations
Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Kobe City Government. AUICK
was designed to focus on medium-sized cities, to collect information
from urban administrators themselves, to disseminate information on
urban conditions and urban planning, and to help develop a network of
urban administrators in Asia who can assist one another in addressing
Openning Ceremony of AUICK in 1989
In 2004, AUICK launched a new
strategic project for the years
2004-2007, jointly with UNFPA. The aim was to create a number of viable
"critical masses" of trained personnel within nine medium-sized cities
in nine countries of Asia. The following cities were selected as AUICK
Associate Cities (AACs) for the project: Chittagong (Bangladesh),
Weihai (China), Chennai (India), Surabaya (Indonesia), Kuantan
(Malaysia), Faisalabad (Pakistan), Olongapo (Philippines), Khon Kaen
(Thailand), and Danang (Vietnam).
Under this project, AUICK has
been working work with AACs and academic partners to
build organisational capacities to deal with urbanisation and related
issues, including HIV/AIDS; poverty; education, particularly for girls
and women; the conditions of slum dwellers; reproductive health among
adolescents; water and sanitation; the environment; and ageing. AACs
will then be model cities for their own countries, from which
successful projects can be disseminated to other cities.
AUICK is achieving these goals
through capacity building with senior
officials of AACs in training programmes and through monitoring visits
to AACs. AUICK is also continuing to collect and disseminate
information in the following ways: conducting research studies, such as
baseline and endline surveys; periodical publications, including our
newsletter "Asian Cities and People"; and maintaining a website and
user-friendly web-based database.
To initiate the strategic
project, AUICK organised the "2004 AUICK
Associate Cities Conference on ICPD Tenth Anniversary Review: The
Current Status and Future Challenges of Asian Medium-sized Cities",
in Kobe from July 30 to August 2, 2004. The conference was attended by
166 participants, including the following guests: AACs mayors and other
representatives, the Director of UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Division,
UNFPA Country Representatives, representatives of academic partners;
and the Mayor and other senior officials of the Kobe City Government.
here for the chronology of AUICK.