In April 2013, Grand Front Osaka, a multi-purpose building complex, which equip itself with a convention center, hotel, offices, commercial facilities, apartments, and more, was opened as part of the area’s 1st development project and today accommodates around 50 million visitors annually. Grand Front Osaka’s core facility, Knowledge Capital, is equipped with showrooms, offices, laboratories, and centers for exchange and offers businesspersons, researchers, university staff, creators, and the public the opportunity to meet and discover cutting-edge technologies and information. Through this interaction of ideas and perspectives, Knowledge Capital hopes to help create the products and services of the future. At the membership-based Knowledge Salon, nearly 2,000 members of diverse backgrounds and abilities come together to exchange knowledge across professional fields. And at the Osaka Innovation Hub, technicians and entrepreneurs looking to take on the global market receive support in building networks and getting their businesses off the ground.
The Osaka Station area is west Japan’s largest terminal and home to an extensive public transportation network that serves an average of 2.5 million passengers each day. As the heart of Osaka, this area has been the focus of numerous development projects in recent years.
Among these is the Umekita development area to the north of Osaka Station, which covers approximately 24ha and is considered as the last prime location available in Osaka. Capitalizing on its excellent location, the city is carrying out projects with the help of industry, government, and academia to form a base for creating new industries. The Osaka Station District has also been designated as a special zone by the government, offering businesses who meet specific conditions a variety of support and services including tax incentives.
Outline of Umekita Phase 1 Development (First Development Area, approximately 7 hectares)
～A Collective Center of Knowledge Uniting Global Technology and Awareness to Create New Value～
Outline of Umekita Phase 2 Development (approximately 17 hectares)
～Where Nature, Innovation, and Creation come together～
The Umekita Phase 2 Development Project is a groundbreaking endeavor that promises not only to advance the growth of Osaka but also of Kansai. After designated as Special Priority Urban Develoment Area, Umakita Phase 2 Development has been promoted by the collaboration of industry, academia, and government also supported by the national body.
In March 2015, a conference was held between national, prefectural, municipal governments, and economic organizations where basic principles for urban development were laid out with the goal of completion and opening of the newly-developed Phase 2 area in next 10years.
Henceforward, the city is planning to select developers and adopt the best possible plan which are full of innovative ideas based on knowledge and experience from the private sector.
① Green Space, unrivalled in beauty, surrounding the town
The approximately 8ha green landscape that will envelop Umekita Phase 2 Area will create a new urban townscape found only here that will serve as a source of new value and diverse activities and attract researchers and corporations not only from throughout Japan but around the world as well.
② Creating New Innovations through Urban Greenery
Along with generating innovation through the exchanges and interactions of a diverse range of people who come together to enjoy this greenery, the city also plans to create exhibitions, PR and marketing campaigns, and real-world experimentation that is only possible in an urban setting.
③ The Theme of the Innovation hub is New Ideas Conceptualized through "Life Design Innovation"
By employing the area’s greenery as a catalyst and effectively utilizing the advanced technologies of IoT devices, big data, and more, the city plans to create new products, businesses, and services and realize a richer quality of life (QOL) for its residents.
In July 2018, the developer of Umekita Phase 2 was selected.