Picturing the ILC in town: residents and experts share a vision for the future

The original article was published in the Iwate Nichinichi newspaper (page 14), January 18, 2016 .

(content of original Japanese article below translation)(1月18日付けの岩手日日新聞14ページの記事の原文が下記にあります)

The fourth and final “Ichinoseki Science Cafe” for this fiscal year was held at the Ichinoseki City Library on Saturday, January 16, attended by some 40 people ranging from elementary school students to senior citizens, who discussed and thought about the future of the city with the International Linear Collider (ILC) project being approved.

The Ichinoseki Science Cafes began in 2014 for residents to learn more about the ILC by chatting with experts about science and ILC research. They have been held in the 2015 fiscal year as well, starting last August and covering various topics such as fundamental particle physics.

The Science Cafe on Saturday was presented by Ms Tokiko Onuki of the Campus Planning Office at Tohoku University. Ms Onuki rated Ichinoseki highly, saying “the city could become a place to try things not possible in cities of higher population density. Its forestry resources are abundant, agriculture is thriving, and its delicious produce can attract people and add value. Access from large cities such as Tokyo and Sendai is good, and there are beautiful tourist spots. There is a college of the National Institute of Technology, so it’s easy for academia and industry to collaborate. Mountains and the ocean are nearby, and streets lined with shops bustle with trade. I think more people can be attracted and a fun, exciting city can be created.”

Regarding city planning with the ILC in mind, Ms Onuki said “it’s important to draw up a future vision, share it, and work with various organizations and nearby cities and towns. I’d like to see use made of the region’s resources, and people allured to a city that offers an attractive lifestyle unique to Ichinoseki.”

Participants commented and asked questions regarding how to prepare for the ILC if it is realized; the importance of the region’s efforts and attitude to make it happen; and what is needed to make the ILC more understood. Ms Onuki said “town planning would not be something done for the purpose of the ILC, what’s needed is building a town which makes people happy. And the builders are the people, everyone.”

Also in attendance at the Science Cafe was Mayor Osamu Katsube, who closed the event saying: “everyone was pro-active in offering their opinions. I hope to work with everybody over time in figuring out what kind of place to make Ichinoseki. The ILC would be a global asset, and I hope to connect it with World Heritage sites in Hiraizumi. The ILC is of a scale similar to space exploration, and I ask for everyone’s co-operation in moving forward.”

Ichinoseki City will continue the Science Cafes next fiscal year, and further awareness about the ILC.

「ILCのまち」見据え サイエンスカフェ 市民、専門家が将来像共有