Revitalising Peripheral Areas Based on the Regional-CES Concept: Application to Imabetsu Town, Aomori

Event: Annual Meeting of the Architectural Institute of Japan
Date: September 2020 (online)
Conference Proceeding

By reflecting on the case of Imabetsu, this paper explores alternative mechanisms to cope with shrinkage while striving for transitioning to more sustainable development pathways. It argues that rather than fighting against decline, the town should embrace its smaller size while looking within to find alternative ways to sustain the local community. The town could capitalise in its natural potential to develop a degrowth-based socioeconomic system based on developing renewable energy schemes, green tourism, sustainable consumption and production methods, and reutilising its existing and abandoned buildings. In doing this analysis, this paper calls for a careful reconsideration of the contemporary pro-growth approach of Japanese shrinking cities based on unleashing their hidden potential to address socioeconomic challenges.