During the rapid economic growth of the 1960s, Mitaka’s population expanded from 90,000 in 1960 to 150,000 in 1970. Many of the new residents were unfamiliar with or disinterested in the area, including the city administration, and this led to a weakening of the traditional tight-knit organizations based on the neighborhood. In 1970 Mitaka incorporated a “community center plan” into its fiscal program. Thus, Mitaka pioneered the community idea nationwide.
Community activities in MITAKA CITY are very lively. At the core of these activities are seven autonomous resident’s associations (“jumin-kyogi-kai”). Anyone who lives in the city may join a residents’ association. The residents’ associations maintain and operate the community centers, which serve as centers for various community activities such as local information, cultural, sports, welfare, environmental and disaster prevention programs.
There are various facilities in the community center such as meeting rooms and cultural and sports facilities. Residents in the city can use the community center which the residents’ associations maintain and operate independently under contact with MITAKA City.
Mitaka City has been pressing ahead with the government operation based on the so-called “Planned Administration” scenario, since the 1969’.
From the very beginning, Mitaka City has strongly emphasized the involvement of citizen’s participation during the drafting process of a plan. As a result, the city has widened its experience in citizen involvement in administration by adopting a variety of approaches. In 1989, the city has realized citizen participation based on diverse methods with its unique approach in setting like park and school rebuilding workshops. The groundwork of the city’s basic concept/ the third generation basic plan, both of which started from fiscal year 1999, has implemented citizen’s participation from the very beginning of the city’s drafting process. This was the first step in moving from the original “Citizen’s Participation” towards a new “Collaboration”.
Mitaka City has proceeded with efficiency enforcement policy based on the principle of “the best and the brightest with minimum workforce” characterized by private enterprises and has accelerated the shift to private consignment for its services by having engaged in through rationalization and efficiency. Our efforts toward administrative/ financial reforms have been highly regarded. According to a survey conducted by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc. in 1998, Mitaka City ranked highest across the country as a “An efficient and open Local Government”. In 2006, Mitaka City ranked as the highest city in Japan, as the fourth time. From the perspective of a public sector evaluation, the city drafted the guidelines “Mitaka Administrative Management Quality Evaluation”. In 2000, Mitaka City received a rating of “Class A” under the above guidelines, a pioneer performance. In the coming years, the city aims to become “An efficient and open Local Government of the 21st century” and will put effort into an attempt to creatively manage local administration by making utmost use of the limited management resources under the concept of “Choice and Focus”.
The City Assembly, which is managed by members chosen to serve as the representatives of the residents, is the highest decision-making body in Mitaka. The assembly holds four regular sessions each year (March, June, September, and December), as well as extraordinary sessions as required. Issued decided on at these sessions are forwarded to executive bodies for implementation. The Mitaka City Assembly consists of a fixed number of 28 members, each of whom belongs to one of the four standing committees (general affairs, education, health and welfare, and construction).
While having laid the groundwork for the city’s basic concept / the third generation basic plan which dates from fiscal year 1999, the city has taken new steps by shifting from “Citizen Participation” to the exciting “Collaboration”, by achieving on earlier citizen’s involvement prior to the preparation of the draft by the city. The word “Citizen Participation” generally means that the citizens join in discussions based on the draft prepared by the government. On the other hand, the word “Collaboration” means that both the citizens and the city bear equal responsibility on an equal footing by respecting one another’s autonomy. For town developments in the future, “Citizen Participation” and “Collaboration” assume increasing importance not only at the stage of plan drafting but at all stages of Project Execution, Assessment and Reexamination. Coming into force in Mitaka City in April, 2006, “The Mitaka City Fundamental Ordinance of Autonomy” is the highest priority norm which takes precedence over any other regulations. In its preamble, it is stated that “the municipality of Mitaka City is organized to provide an administration for citizens on the basis of Citizen Participation and Collaboration.
Accordingly, Mitaka City has prepared “Collaboration handbooks” for administrative officers as manuals to promote its efforts toward the development of communities through “Citizen Participation” and “Collaboration”.
“Citizens Plan 21 Conference” was inaugurated in 1999 as a citizen involvement organization to make proposals from the viewpoint of city residents towards the formulation of the city’s basic concept, / the third generation basic plan. This conference concluded on a “Partnership Agreement” which stipulates citizen’s relationship with the city and one another’s roles and responsibilities to act as a citizen involvement organization, prior to the city’s drafting plans. This proposal was submitted to the city one year later. In response, the city prepared a draft and held several exchanges of views with the “Citizens Plan 21 Conference”. The finalized plan was approved in 2001 after having passed through the assembly’s vote.
While civil activities in the community become more active, civic action organizations such as NPOs play an ever-growing role in the town development. This raises new issues about cultivating a network of organizations engaged in civil activities, such as local NPOs, and creating a support system for such organizations. Mitaka City has established and opened a “Collaboration Center” as a hub for the promotion of the “City planning of collaboration”. This aims to propose a new style for the local community by exchanging new ideas with the citizens and aligning with them in project. At this center, public service projects, which mostly driven by citizens, NPOs, citizens’ organizations, etc. in collaboration with the city.
“Mitaka City Machizukuri Foundation (Mitaka Town Management Organization)” was found in 1999 as a partner for the town development of Mitaka City. It does business as an establishment engaging in the town development by bringing together both aspects of flexibility and promptness from private sectors with publicness and fairness from the municipality. What makes it possible is due to transcending the framework of existing corporate structures by utilizing management resources with historical, cultural, and geographical values which are accumulated in the region of “Mitaka”, and engaging in a reciprocal partnership with its citizens, the universities and the cooperate world.
“Mitaka NETWORK University” was established in 2005 as a new institution for higher education and research consisting of 14 educational facilities (universities and others). It provides an advanced learning environment through a convergence of human resources and intellectual properties from 14 educational and research institutes, all in an effort to revitalize communities, including developing regional activities.
It performs various functions involved in not only providing education and learning functions like a Community College, etc. but also creating new business or conducting community-based research and development activities of “community business”.
Hours:Weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Closed:national holidays and during the December29 through January3)
Copyright(C)2009 Mitaka City. All rights reserved.