Engaging local professionals for the conservation of the built environment: the Japanese "heritage manager" system

Martínez, Alejandro (2018) Engaging local professionals for the conservation of the built environment: the Japanese "heritage manager" system. In: ICOMOS 19th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium "Heritage and Democracy", 13-14th December 2017, New Delhi, India. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

This paper analyses the birth, role and significance of the Japanese “Heritage Manager” system, a regional initiative to engage local professionals in the creation of a sustainable urban environment based on the conservation of cultural heritage buildings that developed after the Great Hanshin Earthquake. The current framework for the protection of built heritage in Japan is laid by the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties of 1950. However, the original scope of this law was only a small number of monuments of exceptionally high cultural significance. The conservation and repair of these monuments was carried out by highly specialized conservation architects licensed by the government, under the supervision of the central Agency of Cultural Affairs. However, the Great Hanshin Earthquake that struck Japan in 1995 caused severe damage not only to protected monuments but also to a large number of historical buildings that at the time lacked any kind of legal protection. It became clear then that a new approach was necessary in order to preserve those buildings and integrate them into a comprehensive urban development strategy. In order to face this challenge, the local administration of Hyogo (the prefecture most severely affected by the disaster) in cooperation with the local association of architects devised the “Heritage Manager” system, a training program aimed at providing local professionals (architects and cultural policy experts) with a set of basic skills for building conservation (survey techniques, drafting repair projects, sustainable urban planning and disaster prevention). Since its creation in 2001, similar initiatives have been implemented by other local administrations all over Japan. The “heritage managers” trained in this way contribute to the protection of the local built heritage, and are playing a key role in the recovery effort of the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Martínez, Alejandro
Languages: English
Keywords: conservation; sustainability; built heritage; urban; development; Japan; disaster; heritage manager
Subjects: D. URBANISM > 02. Urban planning
G. DETERIORATION > 05. Prevention of deterioration
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 04. Architectural ensembles
K. LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES > 03. National/Regional legislations
P. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 04. Asia and Pacific islands
National Committee: ICOMOS International
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 19th General Assembly, New Delhi, 2017
Depositing User: intern icomos
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2018 08:51
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2023 10:48
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URI: https://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/1936

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