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vol.105 No.4 April 2020

History of Japanese Waterfront Landscapes: Cultural and Ecological Life Based on Engineering

Japan began to see its population decline in the early 21st century. As Japanese society experiences a sharp decline in its birthrate and an unprecedented aging of its population, it becomes necessary to construct appropriate infrastructure and erect social systems based on inevitably downsizing urban functions and increasingly diverse and individualized values. Last year was marked by climate change and ethnic conflicts around the world. Japan saw many areas significantly hit by heavy rains. Certain regions in the country face problems involving social security and medical care as well as multiple other challenges that include population outflows, depopulation, and the loss of regional cultures. Throughout our history, the people of Japan have carefully observed waterfront areas, putting much emphasis on rivers in leading individual lives and building the nation. There is increasing momentum for the creation of a new society, which includes a wide spectrum of social innovations. This special feature, compiling a national history of waterfront landscapes focused on those along rivers, considers the engineering behind the affluent living environment in Japan.

 


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