City of Design KOBE

Since pre-modern times Kobe has received people, information and goods from abroad, which shaped Kobe’s distinct culture through processes of cultural acceptance and assimilation.

The growth of Kobe’s unique urban resources and assets accelerated with the opening of Kobe Port on 1868, especially its

  • “cityscape” characterized by exotic architecture and proximity to both sea and mountains.
  • “lifestyle” based on an open and liberal cultural climate nurtured by active assimilation of foreign cultures, and
  • “manufacturing” or craftsmanship represented by specialities such as chemical shoes, confectionery and pearls.

Furthermore, the process of reconstruction following the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 taught the city the depth of interpersonal ties, spirit of mutual aid and other human strengths.

It turned out that the city’s time-honored, inherent qualities–creativity through design–united people and raised hopes for the future, helping the city in its rehabilitation.

For example, design is indispensable for tourism promotion using local resources, for creating attractive sceneries, and for promoting industry.

Design also plays an important role in daily life, making familiar issues such as the environment, disaster prevention, crime prevention, welfare and education more visible, easier to communicate, more relevant, and action-prompting. Design makes things handier, kinder, more enjoyable and positive.

Art and culture can help develop that creativity, and a person’s independent, voluntary action prompted by creativity can enrich people’s lives and bring dynamism to society.

We want to share the idea of valuing such processes.

In October 2008, Kobe City was appointed to the UNESCO programs to date and a future directions.

Kobe aspires to become a design city that continues growing as a modern city and be a city where people can feel a true sense of happiness.

“Design City KOBE” Image Footage