Planning of Public Facilities in Japanese Communities Facing Demographic Decline and Super-Aging
Under the impact of demographic decline and super-aging, many of Japan’s public facilities (including housing and schools) which were constructed from the 1960s to 1970s during a period of economic growth, currently require physical and functional upgrading. Previously, these facilities were built using standardized design methods to meet the rapid growth of cities. However, with the aim of making sprawling urban areas spatially and functionally compact and sustainable, today’s demands for public facilities are not the same as those implemented forty years ago. Instead, the country requires facilities that meet the current needs of local communities. In this chapter I intend to discuss various approaches to establishing sustainable local communities, exemplified through a case study of four key areas around Nagoya that display a range of characteristics and prospective approaches. In particular, the problems and challenges surrounding public housing from the 1960s onwards in suburban areas of Nagoya will be reported and studied in detail. Finally, I argue that to build up a sustainable society, Japan’s public facilities should not be upgraded in piecemeal fashion. Instead such reorganization must be undertaken comprehensively and in harmonization with the current demands of local communities by pursuing urban planning policies.
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