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Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC)

City of Kyoto

Image of Kyoto City Downtown (Contributed by the City of Kyoto)

Kyoto city, often called "Japan's heartland", has preserved Japanese traditions, culture, and history for over 12000 years. Starting from the decision to move the capital to Kyoto in 794, it nurtured a splendid, delicate, and unique kind of culture, and over the course of history came to be considered the mother of culture within Japan.  

Kyoto city has designed a comprehensive system (urban planning system, policy and legal framework and financial systems) as well as the enabling conditions for households to incrementally renew their own houses, utility companies to rehabilitate infrastructure, urban regeneration funds to enable lower income households to renew their houses, specialist traditional carpenters and experts to help households to preserve their historic buildings, and a selected number of banks to extend credits to households interested to start a new micro-enterprise. Importantly, this helps enable the city to ensure that its cultural heritage legacy or “Kyoto-ness” is inherited and the city is more resilient to gentrification and does not allow for capitalization to take over. Restoration efforts are small scale and incremental, however, they serve an important role of maintaining and handing down craftsmanship for generations. 

​Kyoto has long provided education opportunities for citizens to learn more about their history, culture, and traditions of their areas of Kyoto increasing a sense of pride and responsibility. The civic society, consisting of community groups, religious associations, cultural groups, and others, keeps a careful eye on the development vision of the city and the policy interventions associated, which holds the government accountable for planning and ensuring comprehensive development which boosts local economy but not at the cost of encroaching the livelihoods of its people.