Great Neighborhoods, Cohesive Community and Creative City: Kanazawa in Japan

With the radical globalization and industrial migration, many cities in the world have been declined. In this situation, we need to discover new ways to gentrify our society with creative endeavors connected to social sustainability. But how can we leverage the local and social features to develop the city with creativeness? In this post, I’d like to introduce a case which gives us hopeful vision of urban regeneration and regional policy.

Creative City is a ways for the future city addressed by Jane Jacobs. It is one of urban regeneration policies which have get attention after the change of urban paradigm in the 21 century, and is a result of considering that how some cities have adapted well to the radical global change.
Kanazawa city in Japan is a representative model of creative city which has lots of potential elements. Especially, its ‘endogenous development,’ connected with its local culture and industry, shows the city can be regenerated without massive physical development.

To be specific, after Japan was defeated in World War II, Kanazawa regional government has focused on their characteristic folk crafts as a long-term urban development plan. They established Kanazawa Crafts University in 1946 and held Kanazawa Crafts EXPO in 1989. Also, people established craft schools to train themselves and developed craft tourism courses. With these local efforts to develop their own tradition, in 2009, UNESCO selected the city as a member of ‘UNESCO Creative Cities Network.’

As I aforementioned, the notable fact is that the city has achieved ‘endogenous development’ by strong local participation. With government’s support, the people have created social cohesion and have improved their culture by themselves.

To sum up, the case of Kanazawa implies a strong possibility of sociocultural sustainability. Its community cohesion and neighborhood participation would be an role model for other cities and give an answer for adapting to the global change.

You can see more information in here.


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