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Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1048; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041048

Urban Agriculture as a Sustainability Transition Strategy for Shrinking Cities? Land Use Change Trajectory as an Obstacle in Kyoto City, Japan

1
FEAST Project, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto 603-8047, Japan
2
Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
3
Department of Ecosystem Studies, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustaining the Shrinking City: Concepts, Dynamics and Management)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban agriculture; land use change; shrinking cities; population decline; local food production; urban sustainability; land use policy urban agriculture; land use change; shrinking cities; population decline; local food production; urban sustainability; land use policy
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Oda, K.; Rupprecht, C.D.D.; Tsuchiya, K.; McGreevy, S.R. Urban Agriculture as a Sustainability Transition Strategy for Shrinking Cities? Land Use Change Trajectory as an Obstacle in Kyoto City, Japan. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1048.

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