A large number of Kyoto’s traditional wooden townhouses (referred to here as “KWTs”; kyo-machiya in Japanese), characterized by various types of gardens, have been demolished in recent years as lifestyles have changed. Against a background of limited research into the ecological status of such gardens (referred to here as “KWT gardens”), the authors investigated related changes in a school district where numerous KWTs have been removed, although many still remain, based on the aerial photographs of the local area and related distribution data. The results indicated that KWT gardens as a percentage of overall vegetation cover (“VC”) decreased from 39 to 28% between 1987 and 2008, and that separation/miniaturization of green spaces had progressed. However, some KWT gardens still remained at new houses renovated from KWTs. It was found that, although VC and the connectivity of KWT gardens had decreased due to KWT demolition, such areas still represent a significant part of VC in the ancient city of Kyoto. Accordingly, it is necessary to evaluate remaining KWT gardens and promote their preservation as cultural and ecological assets.
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The authors are grateful to the Kyoto Municipal Government’s City Planning Bureau and to Dr. K. Yano (Professor, Department of Geography, Ritsumeikan University) for providing Kyo-machiya Community Building Survey data. This work was supported under the Creative Research Programme for Future Kyoto run by the Consortium of Universities of Kyoto, the Environment Management Section of the Kyoto Municipal Government’s Environmental Policy Bureau and JSPS KAKENHI Grant number 18H02226.
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Niino, A., Imanishi, J. & Shibata, S. Changes in vegetation cover and connectivity of private gardens at traditional wooden townhouses in the ancient city of Kyoto. Landscape Ecol Eng 17, 157–163 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11355-021-00445-y
- Urban green space
- Ecological connectivity
- Private garden
- Vegetation cover
- Kyo-machiya (traditional wooden townhouse in kyoto)