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.
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