Asian Urban Information Center of Kobe

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 Kobe, 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 Research Institute.

In August 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 1987
Asian Conference in 1987

From these 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 urban problems.

Opening Ceremony
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.

AACs Conference

Click here for the chronology of AUICK.




A. History

B. Organizational Structure

C. Committee Members

D. Achievements

E. AUICK Associate Citites

 Chittagong, Bangladesh
 Weihai, China
 Chennai, India
 Surabaya, Indonesia
 Kuantan, Malaysia
 Faisalabad, Pakistan
 Olongapo, Philippines
 Khon Kaen, Thailand
 Danang, Vietnam

Copyright © 2003 Asian Urban Information Center of Kobe. All rights reserved.