OUIK > Biocultural duversity platform > Collaborative research > Kanazawa

生物文化多様性Biocultural diversity platform


A biocultural region and a creative city: A sustainable city model

OUIK has collected information about the versatile urban functions of Kanazawa City, and disseminated the information through seminars and symposia. We organized the “City and Biological Diversity” research group, which focuses on the relationship between urban cultural elements such as architecture, food and handicrafts, and ecosystem services (natural blessings), and have carried out joint studies with people related to these elements.

OUIK is now proposing the idea of “biocultural region”

This idea grew out of our awareness of the need to consider the sustainability of both nature and culture. The values of Kanazawa City rely on the relationships between the nature that supports the culture and the culture that preserves the nature. Also, the city’s central area is supported by the nature and culture of peripheral areas including the Noto, Kaga and Hakusan regions, while the peripheral areas are influenced by the central area.
Kanazawa City is located closed to the sea and mountains. The city was developed according to the local geography, and crafts made of natural materials and a food culture based on abundant ingredients were promoted. Thus, the coexistence of urban culture and nature has been preserved. OUIK is identifying the values of the city and disseminating information about it as a sustainable city model to the rest of the world, where more than half of the population live in big cities.

UNESCO Creative Cities Network Meeting Kanazawa was held in May 2015. It was the first such meeting held in Japan. At the same time, OUIK held the international conference “The Ishikawa-Kanazawa Biocultural Region – A model for linkages between biological diversity and cultural prosperity” (May 28, 2015), and proposed the idea of biocultural regions.

We have disseminated the idea through collaboration with Kanazawa City, and the idea also contributed to the formulation of city policies. The preservation of biological and cultural diversities was adopted as a fundamental principle as part of the city’s biological diversity strategy (March 2016).
In 2015, OUIK Director Watanabe was appointed chairperson of the regional strategy formulation committee. We held a workshop to study Kanazawa’s nature and culture from an international perspective in collaboration with Kanazawa University International Student Center and Kanazawa City. We also held a joint workshop on food culture with producers of fermented food and traditional sweets. Through these workshops, we provided useful information for the formulation of the strategy.
In the future, OUIK will support key projects related to the biocultural diversity of Kanazawa City, with the aim of producing fruitful results from the regional strategy. In addition, we will disseminate information about the activities through the international network of UNESCO Creative Cities, and aim to contribute to the development of sustainable cities in the world.


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