Hokkaido University Research Profiles

Social Infrastructure

Reorganization of Public Facilities in an Era of a 30% Population Decline

Grand design of “Machi no Seitai” and living areas

In Hokkaido, it is expected that more than a hundred villages will disappear in the near future. “Machi no Seitai” is an attempt to optimize the size of local cities in a broad sense, in view of the era of a 30% population decline, while focusing on the reorganization of public buildings that remain unused or underutilized in local regions.

Content of research

The town of Kamishihoro in Kato-gun, Hokkaido, like other municipalities in Hokkaido, is facing a rapid population decline: from 10,309 in 1965 to about half that number in 2010. It is estimated that the population will decline to 3,222 by 2040. In 2012, taking this situation into consideration, the city established 10 themes for the creation of a city with a population of 5,000; and the first of these was to create a grand design for the layout of public facilities.
The reorganization of public facilities in urban municipalities is generally implemented to ease financial pressures by controlling the number of facilities. However, Kamishihoro Town has different challenges and objectives. We are exploring the question of that kind of affluent lifestyle that can be achieved in a small town with a population below 10,000, and the role of public facilities to this end.

  • Kamishihoro Central Belt Concept

Potential for social implementation

  • “Machi no Seitai” is a grand design. The Kamishihoro approach of reorganizing public facilities, namely by creating a spatial plan for the entire town by emphasizing the spatial impact of public facilities, we can see potential which only a small municipality can offer.

Appealing points to industry and local governments

With regard to PPPs that contribute to the affordability of living environments and the revitalization of communities in an era of declining population, we have proposed a planning theory called “Machi no Seitai” as a scenario for rebuilding living environments and assisting local governments through the reorganization of public facilities in local cities. We have also proposed and implemented concrete measures for people to settle down and live independently and sustainably in local areas.