2001 Volume 110 Issue 5 Pages 665-688
The purpose of this paper is to explain the mechanism of farmland diversion in the urbanization control zone by analyzing the case of the Shimokoinaba area in Isehara City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Farmland diversion is a measure for increasing the incomes of farmers who engage in intensive farming in peripheral areas of the metropolis.
In land use, paddy rice and open-air vegetable growing were main farming forms before 1967 in this area. However, the revision of the 'Urban Planning Law' in 1968 caused some diversions of farmland to other usages, from farming land usage to urban land usage since then.
From 1969 to the late 1970s the diversion was a reflection of farm management and condition of the location as well as the implementation of new urban plans, which resulted in land sales on reflection for self-use. The aggressive farmers were inclined to divert land around their houses to domiciles, family housing or farm facilities. However, passive farmers were apt to divert land along main roads to other businesses, with some land not along main roads diverted to their own domiciles, family housing or apartments. A location a main road is also a vital element is the decision to sell or keep farmland. Usually, land far away from farm's house and fronting a main road was sold to other businesses, otherwise it remained farmland.
Since the 1980s, the diversion has been influenced not only by a farmer's motivation and the condition of the location, but also by farming type, farming conditions, farming labor's aging and lower prices for farm products. The active farmers managing different farms show diverse attitudes to diversion. Land near their houses and along main roads was usually diverted to non-agricultural businesses including self-use, and land far away from the houses, but along main roads was generally sold to other businesses. If some land around farmland took on urban uses, others would be geared to urban use, or mostly to non-agricultural uses.Passive farmers were inclined to divert all of their farmland to other businesses without considering the transportation conditions.
Some internal or external factors interacted in diversion of Shimokoinaba; such as, farmers' motivation, condition of location and changes of farm management (internal), regulations on land diversion, adjustment of rice production and urbanization (external). In the urbanization control zone, in fact, farmer's house, family housing and agricultural facility are changing to urban usage indirectly, because the new “Urban Planning Law” constrains further development. Furthermore, there are two practicable conditions for diversion, that is, differences in land price in urbanization zone and in urbanization control zone, and differences in land price for agricultural or urban land use.
Therefore, it can be said that these conditions caused a reduction of farmland area within the both periods. Now, farmland diversion is sprawling. On the other hand, efforts to maintain the structures of traditional communities continue because farmland diversion mostly occurred around existing villages along main roads.