Contemporary Currents in Japanese Machizukuri (Citizens Collaborative Community Improvements and Management) and Their Socio-Cultural Meanings

Takashi Ariga

Department of Architecture, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan


ABSTRACT This paper studies the contemporary attempts of Japanese Machizukuri, Citizens Collaborative Community Improvement and Management, and their socio-cultural meanings in order to shed light on the sustainable planning approaches dealing with population ageing and decreasing. In recent years, as response measures for non-physical local issues such as environmental problems and welfare, and with the aim of further enhancing community–centred planning capabilities against a background of decentralisation in various fields and the establishment of civic society, new cooperative/collaborative-style planning theory is being deployed. Through this process, community improvement and management is becoming deeper, in terms of technology, systems, and technique. The study attempts to find out a solution to real-world problems—how to construct a comprehensive planning theory based on spatial and social challenges arising in modern civic communities, with local resources, social capital and systems that have resulted from such issues. It also seeks to show how to achieve a vision for the city as a whole by mutually compiling individual community improvement and management scenarios and programs, based on the autonomous determination and future vision of the organisations and residents that play leading roles in the community.

KEYWORDS  Machizukuri, citizens collaborative community improvement and management, civic society, local resources, social capital and systems, interactive scenario making

Received July 24, 2017; accepted August 21, 2017