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A Co-creative Project "Vision 2030" for Tigre, Argentina

Vol.8, No.3 July 2014, Special Issue on Social Value Design - Contributing to Social Value Innovations

The C&C Innovation Initiative of NEC Central Research Laboratories interconnects our technologies with customer values, and then promotes the development of innovative technologies and the creation of business opportunities. In collaboration with the City of Tigre, Argentina, the C&C Innovation Initiative has created a vision for the city that outlines the social values to be provided for its citizens by the year 2030.

1. Introduction

In order to co-create social values with our customers, it is necessary to consider their future plans and their issues, and collaborate with them in solving these issues and creating social values. The C&C Innovation Initiative of our Central Research Laboratories has created the "Tigre Vision 2030" in collaboration with the city of Tigre, Argentina. The vision for the year 2030 describes values that Tigre intends to provide for its citizens and society.

In this project, first we envisioned social values and experiences the city of Tigre should provide for its citizens, and then by Backcasting we identified crucial issues, creating a plan to achieve the vision for 2030 as proposed through NEC's solutions. Moreover, we continue to explore ways to solve potential future problems.

This paper introduces the processes and achievements of the collaborative activities that we have conducted, such as interviewing city officials and holding workshops, in order to create a future vision that would gain the support of the people of Tigre.

2. The City of Tigre

Tigre is a city located in Argentina, with a population of 400,000. It is situated about 30 km north of the capital Buenos Aires (Fig. 1). The city is divided into two areas by the River Lujan, namely the Delta Area and the Continental Area (Fig. 2). These two areas have very different characteristics and appeal. The Delta Area forms part of the huge River Paraná delta consisting of marshland, home to a vast array of animal and plant species, whereas the Continental Area comprises the urban zone.

Fig. 1 Location of Tigre City.

Fig. 2 Map of Tigre City.

City officials believe that the expected future population increase makes it necessary to address key issues more proactively, such as environmental protection for the Delta Area, improvements to public services for all citizens and the maintenance of peace and security throughout the city. While anticipating the changes required to cope with such issues, Tigre is in the process of recreating itself as a more attractive city.

3. Vision Creation Process

In order to co-create our vision in collaboration with Tigre, specialists with a wide variety of experience and expertise from diverse backgrounds were brought into the project. These included a designer adept at creating visions using Design Thinking, an illustrator who could visually depict such ideas, a researcher who had just returned to Japan after having spent two years in Latin America, and others.

Creation of the vision moved forward through the following four steps:

  • 1)
    Implementing an on-site study
  • 2)
    Interviewing city officials
  • 3)
    Drafting the plan
  • 4)
    Holding workshops to fine tune the plan

Each step of the process is explained in detail in the following.

3.1 On-site Study

In order to create a vision for Tigre, it was necessary to think as the citizens of Tigre would, essentially to become one of them. We therefore visited Tigre and conducted an on-site study in February, 2013. On the visitation list were various public facilities including city administrative, educational and medical institutions, and we experienced firsthand the city's public transportation such as railways and water buses (Photo 1). Through this on-site study, we were able to discover the attractive side of Tigre, such as the richness of the Delta's natural surroundings and the laid-back lifestyle of the citizenry, while at the same time experiencing some of the issues that Tigre has yet to solve, such as regional socioeconomic disparity and inconvenient transportation.

Photo 1 Tigre University (left) and a water bus (right).

3.2 Interviews with City Officials

Following our on-site studies, we conducted interviews with city officials, asking about their views on the future development of Tigre and the issues that currently concerned them. Through these interviews we found a shared concern for the need to balance environmental protection of the Delta with the need to develop new housing and improve transportation networks, as well as narrowing the socioeconomic disparity between the Continental and Island areas. Above all, we were impressed by the city's strong awareness of local issues and their desire to improve their city, as attested by the enthusiasm with which the officials expressed their views.

3.3 Preparation of the Draft

After returning to Japan, we drafted a plan for the vision of Tigre based on our on-site study and interviews, also bearing in mind the global trend prospects for 20301). Analyzing in terviewees' forecasts for a future Tigre, we realized that their vision embodied three key aspects: the natural environment, transportation and social capital. Placing these three aspects at the core, we broadened our ideas, and then connected these ideas together into a single coherent scenario. We illustrated this scenario, describing the richness of the Delta's natural scenery, and a society where everyone has equal access to comfortable transportation systems and reliable public services (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 Examples of scenes from the draft.

3.4 Workshop for Fine-tuning

In May, 2013, we visited Tigre to conduct a workshop for fine-tuning our draft plan. Ten officials joined the workshop, representing the city's Environment department, Economic and Administration department, Planning department, Tourism department, and Engineering section. We had active discussions facilitated by Spanish language facilitation provided by our staff with experience working in Latin America (Photo 2 and Photo 3). While discussing ideas on the specific experiences we aim to achieve by 2030, we considered current and potential problems that could become obstacles to achieving the vision, and discussed ideas for Tigre's assets, resources and properties that would support achievement of the vision. By this process we realized that the most precious asset of Tigre was the pride its citizens had in their town.

Photo 2 Participants at a workshop.
Photo 3 Group photo of workshop participants.

4. Vision 2030 for Tigre

Through the process described, the 2030 social vision for Tigre was agreed and compiled into a brochure. On its cover is embellished the phrase "Orgullo de Tigre" (meaning "Pride of Tigre"), which was appropriately the city's finest asset. The first part of the book consists of a prologue that describes Tigre in 2030 through an imaginary travelogue of a Japanese student visiting Tigre in the future. In the second half of the book, we provide an action plan for achieving "Tigre Vision 2030," including social solutions to which NEC can make a significant contribution, such as healthcare, safety and security.

5. Conclusion

In this project we created the "Tigre Vision 2030" in collaboration with the City of Tigre. This vision describes the future social values that Tigre will provide for its citizens. Making this achievement possible was a creative process in which the participation of Tigre city officials played a key role, and all of our project members shared the feelings, desires, and dreams of the people of Tigre.

In the future we will continue to advance our technology in order to implement our solutions and promote their commercialization for the purposes of co-creating more customer value.


Authors' Profiles

C&C Innovation Initiative
HARADA Takashi
Innovation Producer
C&C Innovation Initiative
YAMAOKA Kazuhiko
Creative Manager
Solution Design Department
Products Design Business Division
NEC Design & Promotion, Ltd.
OSADA Junichi
Chief Designer
Solution Design Department
Products Design Business Division
NEC Design & Promotion, Ltd.
NEC Argentina

  • *
    The stated titles and departments of the authors that appear in this paper are as of March, 2014.

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