Since pre-modern times, Kobe has been a crossroads for the exchange of goods, cultures and information. In this way, the city has formed its own distinct culture by fusing together diverse elements and traditions from around the world.
The opening of the Kobe port in 1868 led to the development of urban resources by stimulating the development of exchanges and cultural melting, which has shaped the city’s image. Additionally, through the process of reconstruction following the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, Kobe has learned the importance of strong interpersonal ties and the spirit of mutual aid, values that can be found in the city’s creative sector today.
Following Kobe’s designation as Creative City of Design, the former Raw Silk Testing Centre was renovated and transformed into the “Design and Creative Centre Kobe”, which serves as a hub for creativity and houses projects in line with Kobe’s Creative City programme. Aspiring to be a modern design city focusing on growth and the wellbeing of its citizens, Kobe believes that design has the power to communicate both beauty and empathy. Kobe is committed to using design as a tool to address the challenges facing today’s societies.
As a Creative City of Design, Kobe envisages:
- developing the art and culture festival “Kobe Biennale”, which gathers art from Japan and around the world;
- hosting the creative workshop “Chibikkobe” at the Design and Creative Center (KIITO) that will bring together Kobe’s children and creators;
- encouraging children to cultivate creativity by providing a variety of opportunities to engage on creative activities in cooperation with local people; and
- promoting design thinking of city officials to enhance citizen service.