Departmental Bulletin Paper Footpaths : A Regional Resource in Japan

Izumi, Rui  ,  Hirano, Yuichiro

50 ( 2 )  , pp.1 - 16 , 2015-11-30 , 専修大学経済学会
This dissertation clarifies the characteristics and development phases of footpath projects developed since the 1990s, in Japan, through case study analyses of eight projects (three in Hokkaido, two in Honshu, and three in Kyushu). The recent footpath projects in the context of growing health awareness, of an increased walking population especially in urban areas, and the need for rural empowerment have developed as a way to attract visitors from outside the region to experience "rurality," natural beauty, and lifestyle in rural villages. In this dissertation, we assess the paths and footpath projects, assuming that footpaths as the embodiment of rurality should have "walkability," create "public space," and form "rural landscape." The result shows that footpaths in Hokkaido, having social recognition and great flexibility in course setting, are highly evaluated according to the aforementioned three functions. In Honshu and Kyushu, footpaths managed and operated voluntarily by civil organizations are more highly evaluated than those operated under the leadership of local governments.

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