The OBAYASHI Foundation

In the second half of the twentieth century, Japan
achieved economic growth by striving toward bold,
clear goals as it recovered from the devastation of the
war and went on to become a leading industrial nation
with the second largest economy in the world. These
decades saw remarkable progress in the technologies
used not only in public works such as railways, roads,
water and sewage systems, but also in commercial
buildings, housing, and related construction sectors,
while at the same time creative design ideas offered
city dwellers a greater variety of choice. Thus, as I see
it, Japanese society has found answers to a good many
of the physical problem involved in the components of
urban living.
Since the 1990s, however, economic growth has
stagnated and, faced with social changes such as
an aging society, falling birthrate, and declining
population, together with the rise of China and other
developing nations that are closing the gap, Japan
today has lost sight of its goals for the future. We are on
the verge of becoming a dispirited society that lacks a
rich sense of mental and spiritual well-being.
The Obayashi Foundation's Mission Statement
recognized balance in the creating of cities that foster
affl uent lifestyles. This is an important perspective for
all who seek a sound future for Japan, and we are
committed to play our part in realizing communities that
are truly vibrant places for people to live, by promoting
the advancement of research related to cities through
our support of scholars dedicated to the study of urban
functions and culture.