In co-creation projects, people with different backgrounds, occupations, values, and ways of thinking exchange opinions and work together toward a common goal. There is no fixed format as they are co-designed by the participants. With this in mind, we talked with the researchers and local residents who have been invovled in co-creation research initiatives as it is in their stories, where we discorver valuable tips and ideas for co-creation. Here are some of their stories.

STORY 1Biodiversity and human well-being

The Lake Biwa, the biggest lake in Japan, suffered from red tides in the 1970s. To prevent red tides, it is important to manage the nutrient balance throughout the basin, where the residents also face other societal problems. Research was carried out to address both people’s well-being and the nutrient balance. With an increase of environmentally friendly agriculture, living organisms that disappeared with modern agriculture have returned to the paddy fields.

STORY 2Hot spring monitoring with residents

In Beppu City, which is known as one of Japan’s leading hot spring tourist destinations, hot springs are used as a resource for a variety of purposes in accommodation facilities, public baths, and hospitals. To promote sustainable use of these hot springs, which are indispensable for daily life and industry in the area, researchers, the government, and NGOs jointly planned and conducted a hot spring survey in collaboration with local residents

STORY 3Towards fair water management

In the region of South Sulawesi (Indonesia), researchers worked together with farmers and irrigation officers to investigate water use management in an area with unequal access to irrigation water. After continuous discussion with local residents, a new water distribution manual was developed, new irrigation channels were built, and a system was implemented in which local people took the lead in fair water distribution.

STORY 4Philosophy Café

In today’s local communities, there is no place where people can freely discuss various topics. Talking to each other makes sharing awareness of problems possible and much more collaborating to solve the problems. In Higashimiyoshi Town, Tokushima Prefecture, there is a “philosophy café” that meets every three months on Sunday mornings to discuss various topics. Nowadays, there is a need to design such a place for discussion in urban planning (machizukuri).