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Understanding and Managing Vacant Houses in Support of a Material Stock-Type Society—The Case of Kitakyushu, Japan

1
Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Aichi 464-8601, Japan
2
Institute for Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna, 1010 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5363; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135363
Received: 7 May 2020 / Revised: 6 June 2020 / Accepted: 28 June 2020 / Published: 2 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circularity in the Built Environment)
From a sustainable material management perspective, vacant houses represent material stock and still have potential in the circular economy. This article addresses two aspects of understanding and managing vacant houses: the difficulty of understanding their spatial and temporal patterns and the management of the social costs behind the phenomenon of vacant houses. These aspects are approached by combining a 4D GIS analysis with expert interviews and additional qualitative tools to assess the spatial and temporal dimension of vacant houses. Furthermore, this manuscript presents a tool to estimate the obsolete dwelling material stock distribution within a city. The case of the city of Kitakyushu demonstrates the relationship that exists between the historical trajectories of housing norms and standards, such as comfort, cleanliness, safety, and convenience, and the dynamics of the built material stock and demography for three selected neighbourhoods. The results show that the more locked-in a district is in terms of “obsolete norms and codes”, the more likely it is that the obsolete stock is dead, and consequently, urban mining should be considered. The article concludes that a revisiting of the norms and standards of convenience and other domains is one of the prerequisites of the transition toward a circular built environment and the prevention of obsolete stock accumulation. View Full-Text
Keywords: circular city; material stock analysis; historical trajectories; housing norms; obsolescence; urban design circular city; material stock analysis; historical trajectories; housing norms; obsolescence; urban design
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wuyts, W.; Sedlitzky, R.; Morita, M.; Tanikawa, H. Understanding and Managing Vacant Houses in Support of a Material Stock-Type Society—The Case of Kitakyushu, Japan. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5363. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135363

AMA Style

Wuyts W, Sedlitzky R, Morita M, Tanikawa H. Understanding and Managing Vacant Houses in Support of a Material Stock-Type Society—The Case of Kitakyushu, Japan. Sustainability. 2020; 12(13):5363. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135363

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wuyts, Wendy, Raphael Sedlitzky, Masato Morita, and Hiroki Tanikawa. 2020. "Understanding and Managing Vacant Houses in Support of a Material Stock-Type Society—The Case of Kitakyushu, Japan" Sustainability 12, no. 13: 5363. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135363

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