Details of the Initiative

Goal 11 of the SDGs is expressed as “Sustainable cities and communities.”
The Laboratory of local Governance, Department of Agri-food and Environmental Policy, School of Agriculture, studies this theme, focusing on rural areas. In hilly and mountainous areas, where depopulation and aging are progressing and the infrastructure of industry and foundation of livelihood are being destabilized, various measures have been taken in many places to ensure that people can continue to live there, and their positioning and evaluation are required.
In this comprehensive research, we have recently focused on the “relevant population.” The “relevant population” that lives in cities and contributes to the development of communities such as rural areas is attracting attention as an indispensable population for ensuring regional sustainability. The laboratory learns about the existence and activities of such people, defines the concept quickly, and transmits it to society. Students are also eager to participate in these activities. This should be because they themselves will become the relevant population of the areas through seminar activities in which they visit farming villages, conduct interviews, and interact with each other. In other words, such students are relevant to this problem.
In the course of these activities, several alumni of this laboratory have emerged whose job includes generating the relevant population. Their activities are expected to increase the relevant population and to promote sustainable relationships with local communities.
In this way, it can be said that the challenge to the sustainable cities and communities centered on the relevant population is not only research and educational activities, but also the creation of jobs for students.

Report at the symposium on the relevant population by students (Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture)
*Seminar students report the results of their field work at a local symposium. In this report, they analyze the categorization of the relevant population and how to respond to the problems according to the population in each region. The report content has been developing every year.
Prof. Odagiri’s explanation of the relevant population is drawn, as a cartoon(prepared by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, National Land Policy Bureau)
*All people can be the relevant population of regions. For this reason, it is necessary to explain the concept in an easy-to-understand manner. The Ministry is trying to popularize this concept by converting Odagiri’s explanations into manga.
Outstanding performance by Shuhei Sato (graduated in 2014), an alumnus of the Odagiri seminar
*Mr. Sato established a general incorporated association, Iwate Ken, in his hometown of Iwate Prefecture and is involved in the operation of a relevant- population-generating project in Iwate Prefecture (Enkoi Fukugyo Section – recruitment of multi-professionals to work with Iwate.)