Urban Abandonment and Housing Vacancies in Japanese Local Cities: A Case of Kyo-machiya, Traditional Wooden Town Houses

  • Keiji YanoEmail author
Part of the Advances in Geographical and Environmental Sciences book series (AGES)


Today many historical buildings including temples, shrines, Kyo-machiya (traditional wooden townhouses), and western-style buildings of the prewar period can still be found in Kyoto. They are architectural heritages that help shape the city’s historical urban landscape. However, the number of Kyo-machiya and modern western-style buildings has recently begun to rapidly disappear as a result of ongoing urban development and property modifications. To preserve these important historical buildings, the Kyoto city government has established several measures including the new Kyoto Landscape Policy 2007 based on the three large-scale surveys for the city center, conducted in 1995–1998, 2003–2004, and 2008–2009. These surveys, called the First, Second, and Third Kyo-machiya Community-building Surveys, have greatly contributed to the better understanding of the overall situation Kyo-machiya the city government. The Kyo-machiya survey data, as well as the Kyoto City Policy for conserving the good urban landscape of Kyoto, can facilitate the exploring of the relationship between the vacancy and the demolishing of Kyo-machiya.


Vacancy Demolished Kyo-machiya GIS Kyoto 



The author wishes to thank the Kyoto city government and NPO Kyo-machiya revitalization study group, for their cooperation in allowing us access to results of the Kyo-machiya surveys. This research project has been financially supported by the twenty-first century COE Program 2002–2006 (Kyoto Art Entertainment Innovation Research), the Global COE Program 2007–2011 (Digital Humanities Center for Japanese Arts and Cultures), Academic Frontier Project 2005–2009 (Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage) by MEXT. This paper is based on Seto et al. (2010) and revised and added as to the vacancy situation. This research was financially supported by JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), Project number 15H03276, PI’s Yoshimichi Yui at Hiroshima University.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LettersRitsumeikan UniversityKyotoJapan

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