The Changes in Housing Condition in Aging Japanese Suburbs: A Case of the Nagoya Metropolitan Area

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Tomoko KUBO, Gifu University, Japan
Toshiyuki OTSUKA, Chubu University, Japan
Japan is a rapidly aging society, recording 26.0% of its population as aged in 2015 (Cabinet Office, Government of Japan 2015). In addition, the current low total fertility rate, which has recovered from the lowest recorded number of 1.26 children per woman in 2005 to 1.42 in 2014, accelerates the aging process of the entire society. One of the typical phenomena triggered by aging and low fertility is a decline in residential environments, the number of residents, and the number of required facilities in suburban neighborhoods. The following results have been found: (1) a lack of opportunities to socialize or communicate with others results in people remaining in their houses alone “solitary death” or “dying alone,” which denotes that a body has not been found by others for several days after the person has passed away in his or her home, is now regarded as a social problem in Japan (Matsumiya 2013), and (2) there is limited access to fresh food or public transport (Morland et. al. 2002), and (3) an increase in housing vacancies can cause disorder on a block-level scale or in a neighborhood as a whole, and can even reduce the life satisfaction of residents (Accordino and Johnson 2000, Benediktsson 2014, Kubo et.al 2015).
Scholars have paid attention to each aspect of the declining residential environment in aging communities, but little is known about regional systems of the problems as a whole. This study identifies how residents’ perceived lives in aging Japanese suburbs change in housing estates with different mobility patterns through our field surveys in the Nagoya metropolitan area, the third largest metropolitan areas after Tokyo and Osaka. We conducted a field survey on an increase in housing vacancies, mobility patterns and housing supply in case districts, topographic conditions, and the activities of local communities.