The workshop

We aim to examine factors, opportunities and initiatives concerning sustainable heritage preservation and the ‘creative development’ of popular historic towns and traditional villages. We would like the participants to present their work in various fields related to heritage preservation and tourism development in order to determine the most sustainable preservation and development approaches, as well as to brainstorm ideas regarding sustainable tourism development in the popular living heritage sites. As this workshop offers a cross-sectoral platform, we welcome not only participants from the fields of heritage preservation and tourism development, but those from geography, anthropology, geopolitics, and others which point to how meta-narratives and meta-forces will affect local developments. 


We aim to examine living heritage sites, which before the COVID-19 pandemic were popular tourist destinations in a stage of advanced heritage commoditization. Advanced heritage commoditization, linked with the model of ‘creative destruction’ (Mitchell 1998), posits that the traditional culture, atmosphere and ways of life in the popular living heritage sites will face destruction as their indigenous economies (task-scapes) are overwhelmed by heritage-scapes, leisure-scapes and boutique-scapes managed by outsiders. ‘Creative development’ is one of the promising factors that might restrain ‘creative destruction’.

In addition to examining the factors of ‘creative destruction’ and ‘creative development’ in these sites, we would like to ascertain the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the commoditization of these sites.     


The workshop has been created to offer a platform for the experts, researchers and government officials who work in the field of living heritage sites to develop their network, knowledge and collaboration on an international cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary level. 

Moreover, we plan to select up to ten papers presented at the workshop and propose to a leading academic journal in the fields of heritage preservation and heritage tourism, such as the International Journal of Heritage Studies, that they be published as a special issue dedicated to living heritage sites.

Lijiang 3.jpg

The workshop is organized by Prof. Yoko Hayami and Dr. Sabine Choshen, CSEAS, Kyoto University, and supported by Kyoto University's KURA and Cross-Sectoral Research Platform Development Program