Technology culture developing new local industries and culture in the information age
Recently, many Creative Cities have been growing with ICT, Information and Communication Technologies such as Internet, multimedia, contents and many creative solutions supported by digital technologies.
Although, nowadays, ICT is most key factor of creative for developing Creative Cities, creative culture in ICT have been not discussed to a full extent. Those discussions for developing Creative Cities has been mainly established around art and culture, science and research environments, industrial clusters, and detailed phenomenon like the Otaku movement but other perspectives are also needed to develop ICT by the artistry of engineering.
Following production of the automobile, many efforts have gone into making it better, enhancing speed, bettering the driving experience, inventing motor sports and so on. Through all of these efforts we developed a “motor culture” by arts of engineering, the culture to support and develop various forms of mobility the automobile allows.
Much in the same sense, ICT has also been grown as a culture. ICT has changed human civilization for a quarter of century and brought many new industries and cultures but we have yet to realize how people are using ICT as a culture in the Creative City.
When Richard Florida was in the midst of thinking of the Creative Class, he found a group of students that had made an Internet Search Engine at his Pittsburg campus, out of their research work. That same Search Engine, Lycos, immediately became one of the most popular tools on the Internet and went IPO very quickly. After finding this group of technologically savvy people he had then found the Creative Class.
Florida’s experience is not rare, it is a situation that has happened often from the late 20th century, with people using, playing, and inventing. ICT is an ordinary culture.
I suggest that technology culture is important factor of considering Creative City today. Especially, many “Creative Cities” in Asia consider technology culture as important. Many Creative Cities in Asia are towards demonstrating their uniqueness and economy by utilizing ICT
products in their establishment of a technology culture.
Now I will analyze and discuss the impact of technology culture in creating a strong new industry and culture from the case of Sapporo City in Hokkaido, Japan, and explain how they went from zero to become a global niche ICT and contents industry player.
Sapporo: From zero to global niche ICT and contents player for 30 years
Around 40 years ago, industries in Hokkaido depended mostly on their natural resources such as agriculture, fishery, coal, woods, as well as processing and service industries. More recently, they started facing high competition with the global market because of the increasing openness of the trade market in Japan. Through the process, Hokkaido’s traditional industries gave way to rising tourism, service, food, and ICT industries. While tourism and food industries had been in consisting development for longer, ICT had not had been existent as an industrial background before.
According to the “IT Report of Hokkaido” done by the Hokkaido Information and Communication Technology Association, the “IT industry” ranks 4th out of the manufacturing industries. Ranking first is food, second is metal, and third is paper. IT also employs the second most people, with the first being the food industry. IT with its growth has replaced the decline industries. In 1983, 1st annual of “IT Report of Hokkaido” showed 27.3Bil JPY yield from the IT industry in Hokkaido, but that number has grown to 412.5Bil JPY in 2010. Employees went from 4,166 in 1983 to 19,950 in 2009.
Hokkaido IT companies are mostly located in Sapporo with 78% being situated in the city (250 of 321). In essence, Sapporo is the ICT capital of Hokkaido since main industries have been the service and tourism industries, ICT industry has been a valuable emerging industry in its developing dynamic and has brought about new creative industries.
For 30 years, Sapporo has grown as an international competitive ICT industrial city, especially in terms of software, such as with the world blockbuster game title BOMBER MAN, as well as “Hatsune Miku”, an innovative virtual vocal singing software.
Why has Sapporo been developing IT and the emerging contents and creative industries with international compatibility from its reliance on other industries 40 years earlier?
I assume that Sapporo has had a rich technology culture consisting of computer users and has been continuously developing for over 30 years. The user culture has created community and entrepreneurs which have developed the culture continuously, so Sapporo has long been a Creative City of technology culture.
Now I will describe how computer users developed community, and their own culture and ICT industries while being influenced from the global techno trends in Sapporo.
1970’s, Founding Age – Global hacking competition from micro computer to personal computer
The first generation of IT entrepreneurs in Sapporo were hackers that were competing with global hackers that were trying to find or generate new software, new OS and new tools for the operating computer. Their IT products had a global impact as they were shared online so in effect they were competing with Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and many of geeks in the world same time, gathered in a lab at Hokkaido University, near the center of Sapporo.
A young engineering associate professor, AOKI Yoshinao, at Hokkaido University, had opened his lab room in the college with his micro computers for geeks in Sapporo in 1976 and founded the “Hokkaido Micro-computer Workshop” which was open for all to join. Micro-computers were the first personalized computer that were made small by a big company and even though geeks in U.S.A., Western Europe, and Japan, were trying hard to create more advanced, newer and useful devices, the price was still expensive for people. AOKI, by opening up his lab, gave the opportunity to use the Micro-computers to those who couldn’t afford their own computer, and he established “Hokkaido Micro-computer Workshop” the first computer hobby club in Japan.
After the Workshop opened, college students, amateur radio operators and hobbyist “hackers” gathered and started work on devising new programs, new devices and reported their activities and results to the emerging domestic micro computer community. The establishment of the Workshop spread the reputation of the domestic community to developing companies, especially with Sharp and NEC who were interested in developing the skill of the Workshop members.
Micro-computer developers at those companies began to ask the Workshop members to make software and devices for their Micro-computer products and also the members began to sell their developed products. Immediately, Sapporo became the leading cluster for micro computer development with another leading cluster being Akihabara where electronics trading companies were accumulating in the city of Tokyo.
The reason why the Micro-computer manufacturing companies supported those early user communities was that the Micro-computer was new technology that needed attention. These companies created large computers for corporate, government, and research data processing use and since they could not afford to put their engineers to work on personal computing they utilized these communities.
Especially, Sapporo had gathered skilled users with immediately developing the Workshop and it stimulated the domestic Micro-computer engineers as cluster of high level engineers. Early collaboration with Micro-computer engineers and “hacker” users developed the Micro-computer to a personal computer, and developing “hackers” became entrepreneurs. Bill Gates’ Microsoft sold his made OS to IBM and NEC, “Hokkaido Micro-computer Workshop” members sold their home-made OS’s to Sharp and Nintendo through Hudson, their small amateur radio shop.
In the early age of the development of micro computer, only Akihabara and Sapporo were in a strong position for user-based development in Japan. Both cites had open spaces for amateur computer users, Akihabara had computer maker and trading company’s showrooms such as NEC’s Bit-INN, while Sapporo had the “Hokkaido Micro-computer Workshop” by the AOKI Lab in Hokkaido University. During that time, opening up a college laboratory and allowing research use was rare, AOKI created one of most advanced student engineers and entrepreneurs from that laboratory.
1980’s Golden Age – Xanadu of Computer Games
For a few years, Micro-computer increased its popularity as an engineering hobby in Japan, U.S.A. and Western Europe and, through the collaboration of engineers and hackers, they developed the Micro-computer to personal computers rapidly, pushing the world into the personal computer age.
At the end of the 1970s, Apple and IBM of U.S.A., and Sharp and NEC of Japan had created the personal computer and early Micro-computer users contributed programs and devices to develop the PC. Among those were the members of “Hokkaido Micro-computer Workshop” who also contributed to the development of Japanese PCs.
In 1979, Hudson Soft released it’s first consumer computer game package software in Japan via their shop in Sapporo, computer and device shops in Akihabara and through mail order.
Hudson was a small amateur radio shop in Sapporo when the Workshop started. Some of the Workshops regular users asked Hudson to sell Micro-computers as well as selling software which the Workshop members made, Hudson was a small but closed trading company.
When personal computer entered the consumer market, users were increasing rapidly and Hudson became the leading PC software developer and contributed key systems for Sharp. In 1984, Sharp signed a big deal with Hudson where Sharp asked to create a game developer kit for the Nintendo Entertainment System, known as NES, 「ファミリーコンピューター」. When Nintendo developed the new game console, Nintendo designed the specifications of the console and asked leading high-tech companies to realize the specification. Sharp was a key part in the creation of the NES as a semiconductor developer and manufacturer as well as supporting the creation of an OS for the NES. Hudson developed Family BASIC, a software developing tool for the NES user and entered into game software development for game consoles.
Immediately, Hudson became one of most successful third party companies at Nintendo. Their games Lode Runner and Bomberman were both big hit titles in the global market. Sapporo became a key player in the consumer video game development market with the success of Hudson. Hudson next big offering was the development of a game console for NEC that was meant to compete in the global market as the next generation of game console after the NES. The result was an advanced game console, the PC Engine (known as TruboGrafx outside Japan) which entered the market in 1987 on the NEC brand. It was the first game console to use CD-ROMs for data storage. The PC Engine did not succeed in the international market as it was overtaken by SEGA and Sony who created the next generation of game consoles in collaboration with international game publishers. The PC Engine was dependent on domestic game publishers, among those was Hudson and the console was discontinued in the mid 1990s.
1990’s Internet & Digital Contents Age – Developing network community
Around 1970’s many “Hokkaido Micro-computer Workshop” members became entrepreneurs as they had already been earning money from companies including Japanese leading electrical companies through their work on system development and had no need to enter into a company position, for example leading members of the Workshop founded a system engineering company, B.U.G., after graduating Hokkaido University in 1977. Also, some of the workshop members founded their own companies such as Hudson, dB-SOFT and SORD Sapporo (see Figure 2). Those companies contributed to domestic personal computer manufactures in the 1980s, such as to Sharp, Nintendo and NEC (Hudson), Sony (B.U.G.), Toshiba (SORD), Fujitsu (dB-SOFT) in creating everything from applications to OS’s that the personal computer manufacturers used on their different systems.
As the personal computer penetrated globally, the platform of the personal computer was being standardized globally such as with the IBM-PC using Microsoft’s operating system and Apple’s Mac system. As a result, domestic software and device developers dropped to a lower position, small-to-middle range domestic software developing companies in local cities changed venders. Most IT developer in Sapporo tried to find leading developer positions in niche market and they entered into multimedia content development and Internet solutions.
B.U.G. created multimedia and Internet solutions such as the full-color digital paging system for mass printing (1983), a video card for Macintosh (1990), a small digital data router (1991) and became the number one certificate authority in Japan on the Internet (1994). However, B.U.G. also ventured into other areas and created a TV animation, “Bit the Cupid”, the world’s first TV animation series made by full digital creation, that gained the support from the local community in 1995.
Amuse, a leading entertainment production company in Japan, that was planning the TV animation series created with computer graphics but they could not find an animation production company to produce it so they turned to B.U.G., and asked them to create the full CG animation system for the project. Up until that point, B.U.G had been a computer system development specialist and had not had any part in contents production. When B.U.G. established their digital animation studio, they recruited a Hokkaido-born animation director and organized a professional team. However, they did not have digital animation painters which turned into the first challenge for the project. B.U.G. turned to a vocational facility for the handicapped, Iwamizawa Ryokusei-en, who assumed computer graphic production. B.U.G. brought their digital animation system to Ryokusei-en and produced digital animation stories under the guidance of animation specialist team which was realized in the program “Bit the Cupid” which ran for one year every week as a 15 minute long show on the TNX Network nationwide. The world’s first digital TV animation series was realized by a local IT community in Sapporo.
From the “Hokkaido Micro-computer Workshop” on, Sapporo continued to have a wide variety of ICT user communities that created their own local ICT policy and culture.
When the Internet came into public use, computer users and engineers in Sapporo tried to develop the Internet at local community uses.
In 1994, when increasingly the Internet had become available to the public, four hundreds of volunteers in Hokkaido (mainly from Sapporo) began to create an online encyclopedia of local community named “INTERCITY OROPPAS”. The volunteers were amateur and professional computer users who interested in using the Internet, much like what occurred with the “Hokkaido Micro-computer Workshop” 20 years earlier. They started thinking how they could use the Internet themselves, such as teachers at junior school using the internet for educational purposes, local businesses planning how to sell their fish and vegetables, young musicians discovering ways to bring their music to a global audience and students and engineer looking to develop new software and services. Furthermore, government workers began thinking of how to promote policy for developing the internet in their society. The volunteers for the project established an association for developing an ICT environment in Hokkaido named NCF (Network Community Forum) in 1996. Sapporo City Government then provided a meeting space for developing projects named “Network Plaza”.
NCF was a mutual aid association for using the Internet within different fields in Hokkaido, for example installing the Internet at elementary, middle and high schools; establishing local electric commerce and developing a new data service for local media to send data broadcasts via television networks. Hundreds of the Internet users gathered at the NCF and realized network services by themselves, commercial and non-profit, and it became a platform for entrepreneurs in the Internet and multimedia field in Hokkaido.
In the early period of public use of the Internet, Internet users associations were established in local communities nationwide in Japan. One of biggest movements was Bit Valley in Shibuya, Tokyo, which allowed business entrepreneurs to gather, and “Net Day”, a nationwide volunteer movement that supported installing the Internet in schools. Most of these internet user movements were divided into those who were interested in commercial and non commercial uses. NCF was in a unique position since it gathered users with different interests and different backgrounds. There were engineers, academics, media people, government employees, and everyday computer users. Both private interests and business interests were involved as well as research and public policies, so NCF played a vital role in incubating the Internet usage and digital contents fields in Hokkaido.
2000’s Restructuring Age – Facing of global flat
From connection of NCF, ICT business players in Sapporo have created self branding of their business and research cluster of ICT and digital contents field, they called Sapporo Valley, in 1998. Sales of IT industries in Hokkaido of 1998 increased 13.9% of last year and eared 230 billion JPY, and overtaking of steel industries. Sapporo Valley displayed their international compatible the Internet and digital contents base business.
B.U.G. imported from two major encrypt code companies and was shredded most commercial encrypt usage in computer network and found the 1st certificate authority company in Japan in the Internet, Cyber Trust, with NTT DcCoMo and NRI in 1997. Hudson had released million seller game titles at domestic TV game market. Rising of succeeding in Sapporo Valley’s small enterprises had been noticed venture capitals for emerging companies in Internet economy especially Sapporo was assumed unique local city by VCs found emerging company had technology niche according of shown as Sapporo Valley cluster. Seven IT companies went to succeed IPO at Japanese stock market between 2000 to 2004, including Hudson and Openloop, a spinoff company of encrypt engineers from B.U.G..
Around early 2000’s booming of Sapporo Valley moment was declined, cause of recession of global “Internet bubble” and rapidly changing ICT trend.
When age of “Internet bubble”, VCs had invested many of low value and high risk entrepreneurs, suddenly VCs would stop invest even though low risk entrepreneurs especially early and middle stage in Japan after the bubble VCs becoming careful of making value of the enterprise especially corresponded companies in Sapporo was small scale since VCs investing was gone from Sapporo Valley.
Global penetrating of the Internet and ICT have changed rule of business, software development and engineering facing global flat competition, mainly small sized enterprise in Sapporo have difficulties compared with global standard even though Japanese ICT and electric giants declining market who were main partners of their business thorough contributing their niche technologies. Even thought a domestic game giant Hudson faced difficulties that game consoles has become high spec that requiring many investing to make game contents for satisfied global consumers, Hudson could not deal big invest themselves and would have lose position of the TV game industry. Hudson was under Konami group since 2005.
2010’s Challenging for Creative City – confusion of techno-culture identity
ICT industry in Sapporo has been restructuring around 2010’s would been contributing their techno-culture again.
In 2010, City of Sapporo signed with Crypton Future Media for developing CGM city. CGM means, Consumer Generated Media, people contributing to make media on cyberspace. City of Sapporo aims CGM using people recommend tourism and developing city culture, people making contents as cultural activates. Crypton was established 1995 appeared an entrepreneur of the late 1990’s network community movement in Sapporo.
Crypton was a niche company for digital contents field that contributing and importing digital sound effect contents for contents and media production, then dealing DTM, software for composing Desktop Music and founding it.
Growth of Crypton has been supported skilled engineers in Sapporo who were middle age. Since 1970’s IT enterprise in Sapporo has been small and niche, those small but skilled IT engineers cluster has given depth and diversities for developing IT engineering, for example, finding any computer language engineers easy in Sapporo, old engineers worked for fixing and replacing aged computer system even though miner language as too old.
Crypton has developed vocal generating software for DTM, Hatsune Miku in 2007, Hatsune Miku made innovation for global music scene. Hatsune Miku can generate real felt vocal by DTM, without human singing, sung by virtual voice character, Hatsune Miku. Crypton allows making and distributing musical contents and her character for users as CGM and spreading global amateur music composers and Hatsune Miku has became an icon of Japanese pop culture and holding thousands participating concert worldwide.
ITO Hiroyuki, the president of Crypton, in support of IT and contents engineers’ community, created Pon-poko Valley, a gathering of small work spaces for freelancers in a declining urban center in Sapporo, Tanuki-koji. Pon-poko Valley aims to build a techno-culture community for all ages of engineers who can share technology trends and collaborate on software, contents engineering for smart phones, developing CGM platforms and give each other mutual support and challenges in engineering to develop global niches.
The community of skilled engineers then rediscovered a spot in the global console game market when console game developer H.A.N.D. released Walt Disney character games over a period of a few years as a third party developer of CAPCOM, the Osaka based global console game giant. When the developing costs increased for high-spec console games, CAPCOM invested in the skilled game engineering cluster in Sapporo and H.A.N.D. with a cluster of four hundred highly skilled engineers developed big game titles. A director of H.A.N.D., ISO Masahiko was the director of digital animation series “Bit the Cupid” at B.U.G. and moved successfully through niche engineering cultures continuously, engaging new ICT and contents industries in Sapporo. H.A.N.D. and other skilled cluster-based game developers are now the key developers of social-based games in Japan, and H.A.N.D. has signed a contract with Gree, a leading social-game publisher, for a capital alliance so Gree can proceed with a stable production of many of game titles for the bursting Smart phone market.
In 2010, the City of Sapporo announced that its candidacy for The Creative Cities Network by UNESCO as a City of Media Art. However, the City of Sapporo does not include the 40 years of IT users and engineers creating a local culture heritage in their Media Art creative city, they are planning to establish a new culture form using CGM and popular culture as the blue print.
Analysis – Strength and weakness
Since 1970s, IT amateurs and engineers have created a community, established a local culture and started entrepreneurship in Sapporo that suggests that local technology culture is of high importance to the creative city and economy after the “IT revolution” of the late 20th century.
Looking at the case of Sapporo, I will explain the strengths and weaknesses of their technology culture experience.
Creating an open user community
The ICT user community in Sapporo has been very open and allowed entry to various users, from amateurs to the experts. Looking at the starting point of ICT industries and culture, “Hokkaido Micro-computer Workshop” at Hokkaido University of 1970s to NCF of 1990s, “Ponpoko-Valley” and CGM movement of 2010s, ICT users have created their own informal community for using new ICT by themselves in Sapporo and Hokkaido. Those communities give opportunities for the participants to study, develop and share new technologies with a wide variety of people. The communities develop new ICT products and services from hobby to public and commercial use, and these products and services are tested by local users as well as global users who they have connected with. When the users join and participate in the community, many of them have moved up to positions of advanced engineering and contents creation. This open user cluster has hatched advanced engineers and entrepreneurs who developed the Micro and Personal Computer; played a huge role in the Console Game development of the 1970s and 80s; created network technology in the 90s and developed network games and created contents in the 2010s.
Creating mutual aid cluster of engineer and user
The ICT industries in Sapporo were mainly organized by small enterprises and freelancers during the early age of ICT development in the 1970s and on. Companies in Sapporo were established by engineering students and hackers as well as engineers who started their own company as well as becoming freelance using their skills (see Figure2).
The openness of the informal engineers cluster and the sharing of technologies has also enacted the job market, making to easier to find experts of any technological request in the various ICT fields. Skillful experts and engineers are able to have work freelance and in small enterprises reduced from companies that have faced restructuring.
Nowadays, because of high demand in the Japanese game industry for skilled engineers, establishing developer teams in Sapporo is easy with the abundant experts and engineers.
A result of the restructuring of the Japanese game industry caused by the rise in high-spec game consoles and social games, many game developers cut the jobs of aged workers but it brought a serious impact for their product development. One of the global game giant Square Enix faced difficulties with many titles of 2010 since production control skills were decline. Sapporo has kept skilled game developing experts in their work cluster and therefore is available to develop several big game titles on advanced and new game platform instantly for any of the game publishers in the market.
Autonomous movement by local computer users themselves
These communities of computer users in Sapporo are organized as an autonomous movement since it maintaining the communities without governmental assistance as budget cuts and policy changes have cut off government funding to such projects. After the end of NCF, caused by the declining support of the local government and stake holder companies, interested users continued a local ICT community established around their nonprofit gathering space “Bizcafe” maintained by membership of local enterprises in order to keep a “network community” in Hokkaido.
These open user-initiated communities have promoted participation so various diverse people have shared the benefit results of the movement with the environment that’s continuing to develop and the community has been active in solving new trends in technology by themselves for forty years.
Unconscious development of techno-culture landscape
During this development of the ICT industry cluster in Sapporo to an international level, cultural behaviors have spawned in the background such as movements in the arts, but these were not planned as cultural or art activities, it has simply been one side of how ICT has been developed as a local community through the art of engineering.
Those user movements in Sapporo could evaluate cultural phenomenon as arts of user engineering and penetrating ICT and people in Sapporo has promoted unconsciously their techno-culture landscape.
A lack of understanding the movements as cultural landscape
The artistry of engineering displayed by the movement in Sapporo has not yet been recognized as a cultural phenomenon. As same as Amsterdam has been developed international revel of ICT industry by users’ selves and they recognize their arts of engineering are cultural phenomenon of their city and featuring of their civic pride, it was brought developing of innovative public services and cultural movements of ICT such as Digital City, the world’s first free public Internet service of 1994 that attracting ICT enterprise globally as one of center in Europe. Sapporo has not reached the same level as Amsterdam which has been proud of its hacker culture, showing them as being in a leading position in technology culture to both local people and at a global level.
As a result, cultural activities in new media fields are behind some of the major cities in Japan and internationally, noted by their first big scaled new media art exhibition was held as late as 2010. Sapporo is necessary to develop the cultural management field of ICT and working from that understanding, the City of Sapporo is planning an international arts festival, the Sapporo Biennale, in 2013 centering around the main concept of new media culture. This is done in aim of becoming a city in The Creative Cities Network managed by UNESCO as a city of Media Art.
I suggest Sapporo need to acquire their established techno-culture with arts of engineering and take of pride in its network community culture much like Amsterdam has done.
Lack of young generation
Nowadays, the IT industry of Sapporo faces difficulty in getting young engineers and contents creators, even though they have developed to cope with new technology trend with a rich community. The Hokkaido Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry indicates that 550 of ICT engineering students found work in Hokkaido out of the 4500 graduates of 2009 and many management of IT companies, contributed to developing ICT community, felt difficult to get young engineers and creators in Sapporo.
It seems that Sapporo’s open ICT community of forty years is gradually losing their connection to the new generation and local people. A lack of pride in their technology-culture has kept local youth at a distance in the community. The city governments CGM promotion with Crypton aims primarily to gather attention to local contents creation to youth through Hatsune-Miku, a global Japanese pop-culture icon. The recent ICT user community movement Pon-Poko Valley attempts to create a place for the new generation of engineers and contents creators made by the creators themselves who are based in Sapporo.
Mis-match between local promoting policies and community movement
In the past, the Economic Affairs Bureau of City of Sapporo made efforts to promote IT and contents industries as a response to these user movements by developing an industrial complex for ICT, “Technopark” in the 1980s and creating a contents production incubator ICC (InterCross Communication Center) in the 2000s. As a result, the community of technology-based entrepreneurs chose their offices and lab locations between Hokkaido University and central Sapporo Station. They also put up locations in Tanuki-koji, a declining center city area, even though the enterprises become bigger in scope. ICC as a contents entrepreneur incubator has not developed enough innovation compared with other local contents entrepreneurs and its results are similar to government programs running contents incubators in Japanese cities.
For promoting contents industries, the Economic Affairs Bureau has supported Sapporo International Short Film Festival since 2006 under the same policy managing ICC, and this trend is caused by the rise in digital contents creation during the 1990s in Sapporo. However, the contents maker community is smaller than their ICT user community since it has not become cultural-landscape, the festival is just a big annual contents event under the local governmental support.
Reaching a peak of industry development
The lack of young engineers and the decline in diversity of human relations for this long running community movement has meant that its development of the local IT industry has slowed down in recent years. Most managers who contributed to the promotion of the user community felt less recognition for their companies locally than before. Then following the decision of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to end the promotional policy for Industrial Clusters in 2009, Sapporo Valley lost its name in terms of policy making on a local and national level, and as a result the unique ICT community is fading in the image of the city. The current decline is caused by the fact that the ICT movement has not been defined as a cultural phenomenon. Sapporo needs to define their unique contribution to the art of engineering as their own culture to continuously develop their strong industry and culture as a Creative City.
Conclusion – History of Sapporo has told possibility of development of Creative City brought about by techno-culture
Ever since ICT changed civilization globally in the late 20th century, the development of engineering by users needs to be evaluated as a key contemporary cultural development of the last 40 years when promoting Sapporo as a Creative City.
This cultural environment, where a user in civil society is able to develop, use and share new technology autonomously, brings about various technological skills to the greater community, improving the competitive power of the new industry and the entrepreneurs in the creative industries, through the promotion of civil engineering as a social entrepreneurship.
I suggest therefore continuing the development of the Creative City by promoting new talents and bringing up the new generation through evaluating the developing movements by advanced users, and by promoting the local community as a cultural phenomenon that adds social and industrial resources.
 “SAPPORO VALLEY STORY 情報ベンチャーの20年” 北海道情報産業史編集委員会 イエローページ 2000
 “IT Report of Hokkaido 2010” the Hokkaido Information and Communication Technology Association, 2011
 「スクエニ業績予想修正 最終120億円赤字 開発中止等」アニメ！アニメ！ビズ, 12 May 2011, http://www.animeanime.biz/all/115124/
 “In a World of Auto-Tune, Can a Computer Create a Star?” Jeff Yang, The Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2011 http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/11/11/in-a-world-of-auto-tune-can-a-computer-create-a-star/
 Tanuki means a raccoon in Japanese language and Pon-poko comes from drumming sound of raccoon’s belly by Japanese fables.
 「「創造都市さっぽろ」の取り組みについて」平成23年度第10回定例市長会見資料, 26 October 2011 http://www.city.sapporo.jp/city/mayor/interview/text/2011/20111026/documents/souzoutoshi.pdf
 “IT Report of Hokkaido 1998” Hokkaido Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry 1999
 “SAPPORO VALLEY STORY 情報ベンチャーの20年” 北海道情報産業史編集委員会 イエローページ 2000
 ISO Masahiko, was a project manager of “Bit the Cupid” at B.U.G. interviewed by author of 2010
 NAKAMOTO Shinichi, the Workshop member was an engineering student at Hokkaido University then a former vice president of Hudson Soft, interviewed by author 2011.
 「札幌ITクラスターの現状と課題」青木由直 高橋明憲 2004.3 文部科学省科学技術政策研究所 第３調査研究グループ 科学技術政策研究所講演録129 – a lecture by AOKI Yohinao, 2004
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 “The Rise of the Creative Class” Richard Florida 2002 Basic Books