Government of Japan on Toyama Compact City for elderly population
Japan remains a compact city for the elderly: there will be convenient use of transport, and the hot spring exercise pool will also remain
The elderly population in Japan is around 36.1 million, which is 28.7% of the country's total population. In such a situation, Japan is preparing its cities according to the increasing elderly population. In this episode, the city of Toyama, located about 250 km from Tokyo, the capital of Japan, has been chosen as a role model.
A parallel 'Compact City' policy has been adopted for the development of this city. With this, the elderly can easily use public transport. During World War II, 99% of the city was destroyed. The city subsequently rebuilt rapidly, but since the 1990s the city of 414,000 has been grappling with an aging population, rising bills, falling revenues and outdated urban planning.
Toyama's struggle and development are emerging as an example. Japan's first light railway line runs through the city, passing a medieval fortress, to an old port in the north. Here an old school has been converted into a center with a hot spring exercise pool.
According to the World Bank, the old train tracks were repurposed for the new light railway, which reduced costs by 75%. The World Bank considers Toyama 'a global role model' for compact cities.
It follows a 'dumpling and square' structure, linking the dense center with public transport. The new light rail has carriages that are directly attached to the station platform. Due to this, elderly passengers are not at risk of stumbling while getting off the train.