Use of Architectural Heritage for the Conservation of Historic Urban Environment -Kurazukuri Buildings in the city of Kawagoe, Japan-

역사적 도시환경보존을 위한 건축문화재 활용방안 연구 -일본(日本) 카와고에시(川越市) 쿠라츠쿠리(藏造り)를 중심으로-

  • Hwangbo, A.B. (School of Architecture Seoul National University of Science and Technology)
  • Received : 2014.04.16
  • Accepted : 2014.05.07
  • Published : 2014.06.30


Many cities in Japan retain older city structures with buildings in traditional form and style. Visitors are fascinated by charms and tranquility of pre-modern life styles. Architectural features of olden days are well conserved or carefully restored on purpose. In the case of Kawagoe city near Tokyo, local residents are largely replete with visitors without being necessarily aware of slow commodification of historic spaces. Kawagoe is yet socio-culturally sustainable and financially fit. This paper intends to analyse conservation strategies, with focus on architectural heritage, taken for the historic city of Kawagoe. With the population of 300,000 in the suburb of Tokyo, it is one of the best known historic cities in Japan. Kawagoe grew as a merchant city since 1700s, and it once reached to a major port of silk trade en-route to Edo (Tokyo) from northen provinces. Tourism industry is discovered as a key element in the conservation strategies applied to revitalize historic city center, Ichibangai, an important cultural heritage site with special reference to kurazukuri. This paper argues that augmentation of conceptions in architectural heritage is not only advantageous for the conservation of historic urban environment but it also provides opportunities for sustainable urban renewal.


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