Remaking the rural: Alternative forms of revitalization in post-growth Japan
This item is part of: Boarin, P., Haarhoff, E., Manfredini, M., Mohammadzadeh, M., Premier, A., (2021). Rethinking Sustainable Pacific Rim Territories. Proceedings of the 2020 APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Hub PhD Symposium, Future Cities Research Hub, School of Architecture and Planning of the University of Auckland. ISBN: 978-0-473-53616-9
Japan is one of the first countries to enter a post-growth era characterized by demographic and economic decline. The pressing issues of a decreasing and aging population call for an evaluation of current planning and governance. This paper examines existing urban-rural linkages in Japan under the framework of a post-growth society to learn how both top-down government-initiated strategies in conjunction with creative approaches at the grassroots level can work together to address the urban-rural divide. The research draws on ethnographic data collected over a two-year period that includes interviews with rural migrants, local community residents and staff of non-profit organizations to shed light on current experiences of people living and working in these remote but active communities. The results reveal the increasingly important role of rural migrants and repeat visitors who are playing a key role in the shaping of a new rural in the physical remaking of rural landscapes. The study may be useful to policy makers and those engaged in revitalization activities in rural communities to understand local perspectives on the challenges and opportunities associated with rural living in the 21st century.