Pioneering planning along with the overseas startups are tying in the life of urban areas

Compact and efficient, the energetic city of Fukuoka is an ideal venue to host this weekend’s two-day G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, with the vibrant metropolis slated to also welcome major events such as some 2019 Rugby World Cup matches, as well as the 2021 World Aquatics Championships.

In recent years, Fukuoka has also garnered much attention due to government initiatives from innovative urban planning in the 1960s to recent policies that have seen Japan’s fifth-largest city become a hub for innovative tech and startup culture.

Fukuoka is the largest city on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu and the closest gateway to Japan for visitors from mainland Asia. What surprises many first-time visitors to Fukuoka is the central location of Fukuoka Airport.

Despite being one of the busiest airports in the world, a seamless transportation network courtesy of the Fukuoka Subway System sees users able to collect their luggage, board a train at Fukuokakuko Station inside the airport’s domestic terminal, and reach Hakata or Tenjin, the city’s downtown centers, in five to 11 minutes.

This is because Fukuoka’s airport, major railway stations and port are all within a 2.5 kilometer radius.

Indeed, Fukuoka ranks first among 44 cities in the world for commuting convenience according to the 2018 Global Power City Index Yearbook published by the Mori Memorial Foundation’s Institute for Urban Strategies. With average work and student weekday commutes clocking in at under 40 minutes a day, one of the shortest compared with other major Japanese cities, it’s no wonder that Fukuoka is fast becoming one of Japan’s most popular residences.

Excellent transportation infrastructure is just one factor, however, that sees Fukuoka being consistently ranked as one of “the world’s most livable cities.” Affordable housing, plentiful public spaces, lively culture and dynamic cuisine also contribute. Surrounded by nearby sea and mountains, Fukuoka is also renowned for its natural beauty.

Some of the city’s most prestigious praise comes from the U.N.-Habitat’s International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning.