TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (1): 37-49.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003100

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Adaptation Strategies and Spatial Reorganizations of City Shrinkage Era: Focus on Compact and Network City Planning in Japan

Luan Zhili1 and Luan Zhixian2   

  1. (1. School of Environment and planning, Liaocheng University, Liaocheng 252000, China; 2. Urban and Regional development, College of Social Science, Mokpo National University, Mokpo 58554, Korea)
  • Received:2018-09-04 Revised:2018-10-29 Online:2019-01-05 Published:2019-01-05


In the era of population reduction and an ultra-aging society, a country spatial structure transition strategy called “Compact and Network” is presented to cope with the shrinkage of local cities and to build future spatial structures in Japan. Urban shrinkage is a development path that is spreading widely through the world. Recently, this shrinkage phenomenon has also emerged in some cities and regions of China, and will become one of major challenges that China may confront in this new type of urbanization. This indicates many potential problems and deep contradictions resulting from the growth-first mode after the adoption of the reform and open-up policy, and will probably exacerbate the urban shrinkage crisis. This paper therefore analyzes the formation mechanism, development policies, and typical cases of a compact and network city in Japan, and then sums up the planning strategies and compact and network city shaping schemes for shrinking cities in Japan. Based on this, some guiding strategies for China’s shrinking cities are offered in terms of planning strategy orientation, multi-center compact and network city construction, and right-sizing planning. 1) We should accept and face the fact of population decline and urban shrinkage and realize that the appropriate coping strategy for shrinking cities is not to attempt to increase the population again but an adaptation strategy that focuses on activating these opportunities that shrinking cities provide. Shrinking cities should promote urban spatial reorganizations according to the accurate results of demographic analysis and change prediction. Meanwhile, it is necessary to not only promote comprehensive plans of urban policies and facilities construction projects, but also to emphasize mutual collaboration and consideration between cities. 2) In the era of shrinking cities, including issues of population decline and aging, urban development policies should consist of facility location plans aimed at service objects. With full consideration of these features of shrinking cities, a variety of urban functions should be realized in the 5 minute walking zone of urban centers at all levels, railway stations, bus stations, and major road intersections, which are linked by transit networks. Then, shrinking cities can build multi-center ‘“compact and network” city spatial structures successfully through the compact village strategy and transit-oriented network strategy. 3) According to the accurate results of demographic analysis and change prediction, shrinking cities should promote smart shrinkage strategy of urban space and right-sizing planning suitable for inventory planning and reduction planning dynamically. Also, many problems remaining from the period of urban expansion can be solved by the opportunity of ‘urban double repair’ policy, while removing vacant properties to improve the urban space and community life quality through greening strategies.

Key words: shrinking cities, Japan, compact and network cities, adaptation strategies, spatial reorganizations