Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (OUIK) is assessing the urban impact of depopulation on the cultural landscape of Utatsu-Sanroku and Higashiyama-Higashi, preserved districts in Kanazawa. To that end we are conducting collaborative research with Kanazawa City. Initial findings corroborate visual inspection that there has been a gradual increase of empty houses, plots, and parking lots in the area.
Our purpose is to work together with local stakeholders in order to find an ecological and sustainable solution for strengthening the resilience of this area. Ultimately, we wish to preserve its history, daily cultural exchanges, temples, traditional quarters, inward gardens, and water canals in order to re-establish a harmonious balance among buildings, vacant plots, and greenery in the city of Kanazawa for the future.
On May 7th, OUIK members visited Higashiyama 1-Chome with members of the Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture (JILA) Ishikawa branch. During this visit we were able to directly appreciate the cultural landscape and natural beauty of the principal areas, as well as the degraded parts of the district that need to be reconsidered from an ecological point of view. Testimonies from neighbors about the history of this district revealed their current concerns, especially those related to the increasing number of tourists, the loss of neighborhood identity, and the dominance of empty houses and plots in the area.
OUIK will continue to work on this issue with stakeholders.
OUIK-ISHIKAWA JILA Visit on May 7th (Image by: Juan Pastor Ivars, OUIK Research Associate)