Nishimura laboratory (Department of Architecture, Niigata University) have developed the collaborative project to construct the small pocket parks voluntarily since 2007. Through the collaboration with the students, inhabitants and the local professionals, the pocket parts have been designed and built every year as volunteers.

Every new pocket park is transplanted with the trees and grasses from country side forest Satoyama. The inhabitants recognize the scenery of Satoyama at this pocket park in the center of the city, such as the flower blossoms and leaves changing colors. Satoyama is the Japanese words meaning the small hills where the local people have preserved. In Japan each city has a lot of Satoyama located around and these are owned by city hall or private. They are the traditional symbols for sustainable environment from the ancient time in Japan. People planted trees as the materials of housing and picked up the wild grasses as their foods or medicines in this forests. At the edge of Sanjo City there are a lot of Satoyama. But now these relationships between the local people and Satoyama are getting to dilute and they do not have visited to utilize Satoyama nor maintain them.

Also this project is conducted through the multi-industry collaboration. A lot of companies working as volunteers in our project are the construction companies, landscaping companies, plastering companies, and formwork companies. Also over eight hundred inhabitants have participated in our project every year in total. It is necessary to share our concept and decision-making with the various participants. And we have made up the innovative frameworks and at the same time we have faced to the new problems at this collaborative process.

In this project the inhabitants, local professions and graduate students have collaborated as the volunteers and the budget is very small used only for the materials such as concrete or metals. The total construction cost is almost one twentieth of that usual. They walk around the city, examine the characteristics of the environment, discuss the design of the new pocket park, organize the problems, check the trees at Satoyama, decide the basic design, make a model, collect the trees at Satoyama, decide the construction costs, discuss with the city hall, construct the pocket park and transplant the trees at the pocket park.

The collaboration has made this unique and sustainable town planning activity in Japan. Through transplanting the trees and plants from Satoyama, we have begun to walk one step to maintain the Satoyama by re-building the relationship with the inhabitants and Satoyama. This project has the aim of re-building the community and preserving the local environment by sustainable method which is lasting for years. As we successfully carried out our project, we were awarded prizes by the government of Japan and the professional institute. I present the characteristic framework of this sustainable project including a lot of problems that we could not have solved.