LORC was established as the Local Human Resources and Public Policy Development System Open Research Centre in 2003. In the first phase between Financial Years (hereafter FYs) 2003 and 2007, LORC conducted research on "Public Policy and Human Resources in Local Communities: From Participation to Accreditation", followed by the second phase between FYs 2008 and 2010 on "Development Systems for Local Public Policies and Human Resources". In 2011, LORC was renamed the current Research Centre for the Local Public Human Resources and Policy Development, undertaking "Practical Research on Institutional Infrastructures and Local Public Human Resource Development for Realizing the Regional Sustainable Development in the Era of Depopulation" in the third phase between FYs 2011 and 2013.
Following these phases, LORC embarks on "Research on the 'Shape' of Sustainable Local Cities against Urban Marginalisation and the Implementation of Local Policies" in the fourth phase. This title has a couple of key phrases, namely, "Urban Marginalisation" and "Implementation of Local Policies".
The phrase of "Urban Marginalisation" has been created from the phrase of marginal villages. It suggests the circumstances where depopulation, ageing, and the incapability of managing and utilising local resources make it difficult for governments, economies and societies to maintain qualitatively and quantitatively the urban functions necessary to sustain wholesome and cultured living.
The phrase of "Implementation of Local Policies" has derived from LORC's concept of positioning universities as the infrastructure for the reformation of local communities. It embraces not only the development of local policies but also the development of human resources comprehended by policy process.
Based on these ideas, LORC consists of the Research Management Group and two Research Groups. Exerting LORC's strength in bridging theory and practice, we are committing ourselves to pioneering research, in coordination with academic and non-academic organisations domestically and internationally, including the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and the SCiRN (Shrinking Cities International Research Network).
(Professor, Faculty of Policy Science, Ryukoku University)