A Case Study on Footpaths Running Through Public Space in Hokkaido

Hiroshi Ota, Yasuaki Matsuda, Keisuke Iwata
2018 Urban and Regional Planning Review  
Movements to launch tourism promotion and regional development have been carried out in various places in Japan by creating footpath courses on the model of British footpaths. The number of footpaths in Hokkaido is estimated to exceed 200 courses, which are counted as new tools for regional development by making most of local resources. The right-of-way on the public footpath is legally guaranteed in Great Britain whereas no such protection is provided by law in Japan. For this reason, it is
more » ... ficult to maintain the continuity of a route which needs to be extended across private land, and some issues are pointed out in order to design effective courses by using public space. With the aim of clarifying problems concerning creation, management and maintenance of footpath courses, this study selected some major footpaths in Hokkaido to carry out their field researches, hearing survey to their operators, and questionnaire survey to users. This research has revealed that footpaths are managed with different locational conditions and management/utilization systems by various organizations. As existing footpaths are managed under various types with no clear definition, definite procedures and rules for placement/management of a footpath as well as the permission for passing/use of public space have yet to be formulated. Although there are procedures for installation and maintenance of necessary signposts in building/managing a footpath in public space, the clarification and systemization of criteria and views of permission is still an issue to be dealt with. In order to newly create or continuously operate a footpath, a system to effectively use public space and to share important agreements is urged to be formulated as well as a clear definition of a footpath. Problems pointed out by users included management and maintenance of footpath courses and improvement of signposts. Proper and explicit course guides are necessary to be placed on footpaths. It is essential to install plain signposts, to suggest and publicize common regulations and moral standards, and to share course-particular notices.
doi:10.14398/urpr.5.25 fatcat:kbphcsp5zfh4xnnv2nvgxeeo5i