Sustainable Local Cultural Landscape and Land Planning

The representative had researched local sustainable landscape in Keihoku, the northern part of Kyoto, where had contributed to construction of the former capital, Kyoto, and support of life of Emperors and the capital for over 1,000 years.

The representative found that the local environment has been comprehensively and sustainably fostered by the natural environment of the area, its forests, villages, rivers, capital, links to the sea, ecosystems, local resources, people’s activities, logistics, inter-regional exchange, culture, history, spirituality, politics, and economic activities.

He defined this relationship for creating local sustainable landscape as “local cultural environment”.


In this relationship, thatched houses, surrounding environment, resources, life of people are connected each other and thatching was thought as a symbol of these manifestations and a system to create local sustainable landscape.

In conclusion, he mentioned that there is the possibility of applying this relationship for modern age to create a sustainable society.


The research site is the “Yamaguni-region”, Keihoku, Kyoto, where we can see beautiful satoyama landscape. This area had contributed greatly to the construction of the former capital, “Heian-kyo”, Kyoto, and supported the life of the people in the capital since the late 8th century. There are still some thatched roofs and thatched fields still remain and some people continue to lead a traditional lifestyle. In this context, the representative actually lived in a thatched house for about a year and then in a tinned roof house for about a year and summarized the changes in the local natural environment condition (e.g. forests, fields, villages, and rivers), life of people, and thatch fields from the first half of the 20th century to the present day and their factors at the architectural and regional scales.

It also summarized the possibility of the sustainable town planning that has been carried out in the Keihoku region in recent years by the local people, administrators, university, large companies, and discussed the possibilities for the formation of a sustainable local environment.


The original local environment of the land contains spirituality, culture, activities and technology that have been fostered over a long period of time, with attachment and in harmony with nature. This research has succeeded in visualizing and verbalizing the original value of the local environment and thatched roof from an outside perspective.


As a result of this research, it has become clear that it is possible to paradoxically create a sustainable local environment by finding and evolving new value in the thatched roof that has been created through various relationships.

Master thesis:
The Possibilities of Sustainable Landscape Observed through the Thatched Roofing in Yamaguni Region, Kyoto


Full thesis



The lecture by the representative at Architecture Department, Meiji University, Japan