- Planning Standards for better Townscape in Japanese Rural Cities? Planning Ordinances of Outside of the City Planning Area and Urbanisation Control Area    click here to open paper content24 kb
by    Muraki, Miki & Kunitani, Kosuke & Kuno, Toshimitsu | muraki@tu.chiba-u.ac.jp   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The purposes of this paper are to examine how rural local councils can
control developments and keep and create better townscape under planning
ordinance in Japan.
The City Planning System in Japan is based on the City Planning Areas;
however, the designated City Planning Areas is addressed only 25% of the
land area in the nation. The remainder of the land is agricultural,
forest, national parks and natural resources, which are controlled by a
variety of departments and regulated by different laws. On the other hand,
great number of cities has planning ordinance in order to create better
framework for planning standards and control the new developments and
sustain their own townscape. However, effectiveness of these planning
ordinance, particularly rural areas, is unclear.
The purposes of this paper are to examine how local councils can control
developments and keep and create better townscape under planning
ordinance. In this paper, we attempt to clarify the roles of local
councils and recommend a more desirable framework for controlling
townscape in Japanese rural cities.
We firstly reviewed the City Planning System in Japan. The City Planning
Areas divided into two types: the Divided City Planning Areas and the Un-
Divided City Planning Areas. The former is designated metropolitan areas
and is again divided into the Urbanisation Promotion Area with zoning
regulation and the Urbanisation Control Area. The latter is designated
cities with a population of over a hundred thousand and has zoning areas
and non-zoning areas.
The City Planning Act 1992 required entire city planning authorities to
draw up comprehensive plans to 2025. The central government required two
types of planning for the comprehensive plan: strategic planning and area
planning with citizen participation. Historic cities, or areas where
vernacular housing style remains, it is not hard to share vision of the
area/city also planning standards and development controls for sustaining
townscape. However, the rest of the areas, typical image of the city is
hard to draw up as our townscape is rapidly changing.
To clarify the current development situation in rural areas, we had
questionnaire survey to 255 local councils either have outside of the City
Planning Area and the Urbanisation Control Area, and that have planning
ordinance. Even all councils wished that new developments should be
concentrated in the Urbanisation Promotion Area, only 18% of local
councils answered that new developments have recognised neither in the
Urbanisation Control Area nor outside of the City Planning Area, and most
developments could be seen along the trunk roads, because change of the
use from agriculture to these uses. As a consequence, development control
is weak and urban sprawl is progressed in the rural area, even they have
planning ordinances. For this reason, further coordination between
planning and agriculture section is required.
The planning ordinances were regulated to sustain townscape, as the object
of planning ordinances, 59% of 255 local councils is sustaining the great
nature and townscape. Accordingly, planning ordinances are not actively
worked, particularly to control the new developments. Because the
opportunities of drawing up visions of the city, particularly outside of
the City Planning Area is limited, and lack of vision causes difficulty of
planning controls. On the other hand, new developments can be produced
new employment opportunity and tax income to local councils. So that
development control is again difficult to tackle depopulation problems and
local independence for small cities.
The final section of this paper will present data from questionnaire
survey and discuss vision of the area/city. As a result, more than half
cities have particular vision of the city, however, we recognised the
differences between populated and depopulated cities: 79% of the cities
which has the Urbanised Area have vision of the cities, and only 39% of
the cities which has the Un-Divided City Planning Area and outside of the
City Planning Area have. The former cities already have opportunity to
draw up land use strategies such as town centre strategies or tourism
strategies, however, depopulated cities, particularly without any tourist
interests, it is hard to draw up any vision of the area/city.
The paper ends with a discussion as to how local councils can effectively
worked together in the planning and outside of the City Planning Area to
control townscape. Tackling the issue of new developments, particularly
rural areas in Japan, it suggests that: 1) image of the cities even they
are outside of the City Planning Area, cooperation between local people is
essential and must share vision of the area: 2) cooperation with
agricultural departments are particularly important to control outside of
the City Planning Area.

planning ordinance, townscape, development control
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