Community-driven renewal of industrial heritage and revitalization of old industrial area: A case study of Shimizusawa, Japan

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Submission Summary
Old industrial areas often face economic decline and population aging problems. Industrial heritage can be a catalyst for sustainable development. However, in the political and cultural discourse since modern times, the “old industrial area” is often regarded as the “other” of modernity, a passive place to be saved by top-down efforts, and its own subjectivity and industrial heritage is often ignored or underestimated. Although the 798 Art District in Beijing, China and the Pier-2 Art Centre in Kaohsiung, Taiwan have obvious bottom-up characteristics, the participants are outsiders rather than residents of the old industrial area, and cannot be used as a classic mechanism. The case of Shimizusawa old industrial area in Yubari City, Japan shows a de-industrialized old mining town that actively uses its industrial heritage to seek its own development. This article uses field research and literature review method to introduce the historical evolution and heritage development of this area in 4 steps, including: 1) From "a strong mining area" to a "hollow town": the changes in the Shimizusawa area. 2) The origin of industrial heritage development. The outside is the support of the macro strategy, that is, Sorachi's regional revitalization strategy for coal mine region, which based on industrial heritage tourism to develop economy, and Shimizusawa was chosen as an important point in this strategy. The interior is a bottom-up development appeal, that is, the establishment of NPO and the proposal of the concept of eco-museum. The development of industrial heritage takes value transmission as the core, focuses on cultivating the pride of local residents (especially children), meets people who are interested in and helpful to the area, and makes people work together for the development of the area. 3) Main methods of industrial heritage development. Including the overall planning that respects the characteristics of the site and the implantation of emerging industry functions, the creation of the memory museum, the stage and dynamic plans. And the development of cultural heritage activities such as art and the launch of emigration projects. 4) The key personnel of industrial heritage development. The community participates in planning and operation together, with NPO as the leader, elderly and middle-aged people as the main personnel of implementation, and children as the key training objects. The research conclusions: The revitalization process of Shimizusawa provides an excellent case for the proposal of the community-driven mechanism, and its success has proved the effectiveness of this mechanism: 1) The impetus of Shimizusawa's industrial heritage renewal and local revitalization comes from the real needs of the community to solve the survival dilemma, 2) the heritage resources it relies on mainly come from tangible heritage and intangible heritage, and continue to expand and innovate on this basis. Through maintenance, reconstruction and new construction and other methods, the integration of tangible and intangible heritage, Finally, the industrial culture was revitalized; 3) A broad community composed of NPOs and ordinary residents participated and worked together to complete the process of development and revitalization; 4) Finally, the area was revitalized from a "hollow town" to a well-known "industrial characteristic town", and the residents benefited from the industrial heritage development and local revitalization. The research application: This mechanism is a revision to the popular local concept of treating old industrial areas as passively waiting for rescue, and has positive implications for the current implementation of the revitalization strategy of old industrial areas: only by fully respecting and giving full play to the subjectivity and initiative of industrial areas, can the revitalization and sustainable development of old industrial areas be realized.
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1: Inclusiveness and empowerment. Al-Majlis: planning with and for communities
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Tsinghua University
Associate Dean
Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University

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