A future outlook of narratives for the built environment in Japan

Volume (Issue): 13 (4)
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The evolution of long-term sustainable societies is closely connected to the transformation of the physical built environment in which those societies operate. In this paper, we present a comprehensive set of narratives for the built environment in Japan, consistent with the shared socio-economic pathways (SSPs) framework, to assess the future evolution of the adaptation and mitigation challenges. We focus on the linkage between sustainability factors and human living
environments including urban form, buildings, and basic infrastructures. We introduce a new, sixth narrative to the SSPs, an alternative interpretation of SSP1. Whereas the original SSP1 assumes high societal and environmental sustainability combined with relatively high economic growth, the SSP1 variant does not highly rely on economic growth and is oriented towards a lower and more locally oriented consumption lifestyle. Nature-based solutions are integrated and examined
in the new SSP1 narrative, which is aligned with the adaptation to the digital era with freedom of location. Recent global crises such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic may accelerate the transformation of societies. Therefore, this study attempts to imply the benefits and trade-offs of alternative pathways for the built environment.

van Ruijven
Bas J