Heian Kento 1200: Development plan of the Southern district

Heian Kento 1200: Development plan of the Southern district

Compared with the highly regulated central historical neighborhood, the urban area at the south of JR Tokaido line, including the Southern district and the Fushima district (Daigo area excluded), has always been a major commercial and industrial center leading Kyoto’s revitalization. As one of the six memorial projects of Heian Kento 1200, the development plan of the southern district was not carried out as smoothly as the others at first. The proposal was abolished before its basic structure being established in 1994. A much more elaborated design was introduced in February 2002 focusing on the infrastructure construction and development of new industry. It turned out to be a quite successful one assisting Kyoto on its own path of modernization [1].

The 5-year development plan concentrated on three major area, which are the urban design of the townscape outside the Southern exit of Kyoto station, the maintenance of the highly concentrated neighborhood and the revitalization of Fushima district [1].

As for the infrastructure, the government made an effort on the densification of the road network and the strengthening of public transportation. The Omiya bridge, which was finished by 2003 [2], together with ring roads provided citizens with great convenience commuting. Moreover, roads connecting Kyoto to adjacent cities, such as Osaka were also proposed. The 2nd Keihan Road (Ogura Ike IC to Hirata Higashi IC) and Keisei Bypass (Between Hugo Pond IC and Kuyamayama JCT) were constructed by 2002. Meanwhile, a set of measurements were adopted to promote public transportation. For instance, the southern plaza of the Kyoto Station was carefully designed to be a relaxing space and railway stations were added to meet the residents’ requirement.


The Kyoto administration not only roughed out the urban plan, but also suggested the possible industry that could thrive at the Southern district. With the University of Kyoto located in the Sakyo Ward, a collaboration of industry, education and scientific research was promoted. Besides, a regional platform was established to support the development of small and medium enterprises. The concept of making Kyoto a city of superior technology was put forward as well [1].

The 2002 plan was evaluated after its implementation for five years and was revised to an updated version in 2007, taking citizens’ criticisms into consideration. It successfully improved the infrastructure construction condition and facilitated the new industry development of the southern district. On one hand, it was part of the zoning division and by providing the residence and industrial area, it helped keep the historical neighborhood from being disturbed. On the other hand, it presents Kyoto’s ambition to not only rely on its cultural heritage, but thrive as a modern city of technology as well.

As the Mikado claimed at the ceremony of Heian Kento 1200, Kyoto was treasured as a cultural center. What we need to preserve is not only the traditional architecture, but also the enthusiasm and creativity of craftsman of the past [3]. What Kyoto has experimented on the Southern district proved that by the assistance of orderly developed modern infrastructure and technology, the conservation of the historical heritage could be more vivid and cherished.



[1] “京都市南部創造のまちづくり推進プログラム”. 2002. Kyoto City Official Website. Accessed December 22, 2017. http://www.city.kyoto.lg.jp/tokei/cmsfiles/contents/0000005/5018/nanbuprogram.pdf.

[2] “新・京都市南部創造まちづくり 推進プラン”. 2002. Kyoto City Official Website. Accessed December 22, 2017.


[3]”主な式典におけるおことば(平成6年):天皇陛下のおことば – 宮内庁”. 1994. Kunaicho.Go.Jp. Accessed December 22, 2017.


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