A peer-reviewed paper “Urban Agriculture as a Sustainability Transition Strategy for Shrinking Cities? Land Use Change Trajectory as an Obstacle in Kyoto City, Japan” co-authored by Kimisato Oda, Christoph Rupprecht, Kazuaki Tsuchiya (The University of Tokyo) and Steven McGreevy was published on an international journal, Sustainability 10(4).
“Urban Agriculture as a Sustainability Transition Strategy for Shrinking Cities? Land Use Change Trajectory as an Obstacle in Kyoto City, Japan” by Kimisato Oda, Christoph D. D. Rupprecht, Kazuaki Tsuchiya and Steven R. McGreevy
Abstract: Can shrinking cities harness population decline to improve their sustainability by repurposing land use, for example, for localizing food production? Whether such a transition is feasible depends on the pre-shrinkage state of urban agricultural land use, including ongoing trends in local land use change. This study examined agricultural land use from 2007–2017 in Kyoto City, Japan. Kyoto is on the brink of a large projected population decline (~190,000 or ~13% until 2040) and serves as a representative for a large number of regional Japanese cities in a similar situation. Analysis was based on a public 2007 land use data set, aerial and satellite imagery and ground truthing. Results showed a decline of 209 ha or 10% in agricultural land use over ten years, but also highlight the diversity of ongoing agricultural land use types not captured by standard categories. The main post-agricultural land uses were residential (40%) and vacant land (28%). These results have implications for planning and policy. Kyoto City is currently not set to benefit from the projected shrinking process through localizing food production, despite a tradition of vegetable production. Future research should analyze drivers of change for observed agricultural land use.
Keywords: urban agriculture; land use change; shrinking cities; population decline; local food production; urban sustainability; land use policy