Open Journal of Civil Engineering, 2012, 2, 183-192 Published Online September 2012 (
Changes in Land Use, Socioeconomic Indices, and the
Transportation System in Gifu City and their Relevance
during the Late 20th Century
Min Guo1, Fumitaka Kurauchi2
1Graduate School of Engineering, Gifu University, Gifu, Japa n
2Department of Civil Engineering, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan
Received July 31, 2012; revised August 30, 2012; accepted September 14, 2012
History provides valuable lessons for the interplay of factors that shape urban growth and development. This study ex-
amines changes in land use, socioeconomic indices, and the transportation system of Gifu City during the late 20th cen-
tury using geographical information system (GIS) methods. The data for the study were historical maps and the popula-
tion census and economic statistics data from 1950 to 2000, when Japan was in a period of high economic growth. The
discussion focuses on the master plan, road construction, land use, the spatial distribution of the population, and socio-
economic indices. It was possible to compare spatial distribution patterns o ver time using GIS. When policies were cre-
ated that attached importance to construction of a road network due to the development of motorization and elimination
of the city tram, the surrounding suburban area became the focus of land-use development. As a result, Gifu City is
plagued by the doughnut phenomenon. It is important to identify the relationships among urban planning factors to pro-
vide for future urban and transport a t i on planning.
Keywords: Urban Planning; Land Use; Transportation System; Socioeconomic Indices; Geographical Information
1. Introduction
Rapid urbanization and growing economic prosperity
have brought a higher rate of motorization to developed
and developing countries. Motorization causes many
problems such as exhaust pollution, traffic congestion,
and an increase in the number of individuals who cannot
drive. A shift to environmentally friendly and sustainable
cities will require a reduction in the unnecessary car use
and the use of public transportation and bicycles.
History provides valuable lessons on the interplay of
factors that shape urban growth and development. Many
developed countries have experienced high economic
growth and motorization. Willoughby [1] analyzed Sin-
gapore’s motorization policies from 1960 to 2000, in-
cluding fiscal policy, road pricing, transportation and
land use, transportation externalities infrastructure, urban
development, urban planning, and urban transportation to
create a direction for further planning.
It is important to identify the relationships among ur-
ban planning factors to provide for future urban and
transportation planning. Kishiue, Cal, Amano, and Li-
dasan [2] adopted a historical approach to trace urban
development in selected urban centers in Asia. In their
study, they compared the planning patterns of each study
area and conducted historical reviews of development in
each area. Black, Cheung, Doust, and Shabtay [3] ana-
lyzed spatial plans for Sydney from 1984-2031 focusing
on metric changes in major employment centers.
Computer methods have been used to analyze urban
changes. Ho and Shibayama [4] studied the urban transi-
tion in Hanoi in the late 20th century based on geo-
graphic information sensing (GIS)/remote-sensing tech-
nology. Because land-use changes are difficult to analyze
by simply inspecting documents, we used a popular
computer method (ArcGIS) to create spatial maps to
compare urban changes with spatial-distribution patterns
over time.
2. Data Overview and Outline
2.1. Data Overview
The target area was Gifu City in Japan, a typical middle-
sized city with a population of 402,185 (Table 1 [5]).
With fewer bus users in the city, bus companies faced
difficulties maintaining services, and three bus compa-
nies merged into one. Furthermore, removal of the city
opyright © 2012 SciRes. OJCE
Table 1. Essential statistics of target city.
Population 402,185
Schooling from
the outside 11,772
[Central area] 74,531 Drivers license
holders 247,607
[Surrounding area] 162,653 Car owners 279,177
[Suburban area] 165,001 Large size shops 64
population 426,865 Normal shops 7585
Families 153,336
Commercial sales
[ten thousand yen] 18,918
Elderly persons 73,492 Business sites 25,382
Commuters 279,224 Workers 185,614
tram left buses as the only public transportation within
most of the city. Thus, car use has been increasing
gradually (Figure 1). Furthermore, motorization led to
the dispersion of major urban facilities such as shops and
public facilities, reducing access to such resources in the
central area. As a result, the residential population and
the number of shops and workplaces in the central area
have declined over the past several years.
Gifu City is in the center of Japan and is in the north of
the third largest city in Japan (Nagoya) [6]. The primary
access to Gifu is from the south. In this study, we used
historical documents and maps from the past 40 years to
review past urban-planning policies and transportation
systems. We analyzed urban changes using the popula-
tion census and economic statistics and examined
changes in the transportation system using transporta-
tion-use statistics.
2.2. Outline
First, we will look at land use and socio economic indi-
ces by reviewing the zone changes in population growth,
industry, commerce and agriculture. Second, we will
summarize the status of road construction an d public rail
transportation. Lastly, we will show the spatial distribu-
tion patterns over time to identify how changes in the
transportatio n syste m aff ect land use and urban planning.
3. Land Use and Socio Economic Indices
In this study, the city was divided into zones according to
elementary school districts to analyze land use. Because
it is difficult to find land-use info rmation from old maps,
zone data were used to make a land-use map with GIS
and to analyze the housing population, the number of
industries and stores, and commercial and agricultural
land use [7].
3.1. Population Growth
Population growth provides important information on the
direction of urban development. The Gifu City popula-
tion census from 1950 to 2005 was used to analyze
population changes in this study. Figure 2 illustrates the
population growth in the total, central, surrounding, and
suburban areas.
A significant increase in the total population occurred
along with high economic growth in Japan from 1950 to
the early 1960s, bu t during the 5 year s fro m 1970 to 197 5,
the population increased just 6%. Then, population
growth was almost stagnant, and the population has de-
creased slightly since 1985. In contrast, the trends show
large differences in the populations of particular areas. In
0.0%20.0% 40.0% 60.0% 80.0%100.0%
Rail Bus,Tram Car Bicycle Walk
Figure 1. Mode share of trips in Gifu City.
Population Growth
1950 1955 1960 19651970 1975 1980 1985 1990 19952000 2005
centeral area
surrounding area
suburban area
Centr al area
Surround ing area
Suburban area
Figure 2. Population growth of Gifu City.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. OJCE
the central area, including the heart of th e old city center
and around the railway station, the population has de-
clined from a peak in 1960-1965. Moreover, the popula-
tion continues to decline even now. However, when
population in this area was beginn ing to decrease around
1960, the population of the surrounding area increased
remarkably. Furthermore, the population increased in the
suburban area 10 years later. After 1985, the population
in the suburban area became greater than that in the sur-
rounding area, and the central area became depopulated.
Based on these data, it appears that suburbanization in
Gifu City began in 1965. This is also the period of start
of high economic growth and motorization in Japan.
Spatial population growth can be shown using GIS
(Figure 3). This color-coded figure illustrates population
growth by elementary school district every 5 years. The
palest red means that the growth number is <0 and the
population has decreased. The deepest red means that
population in the zone increased significantly (>3000)
during the 5 years. This figure shows that the population
has moved from a central area to the surrounding and
suburban areas.
The rate of aging in the populatio n is shown in Figure
4. Aging has advanced around the central city. In 1985,
the aged population rate was over 14% only in downtown
and in two other zones, but in 2000, all of Gifu City
could be considered an aging society, even a super-aging
1950~1955 1955~1960 1960~1965
1965~1970 1970~1975 1975~1980
1980~1985 1985~1990 1990~1995
Figure 3. Spatial population growth of Gifu City.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. OJCE
1985 1995 2000
Figure 4. Aged population rate of Gifu City.
3.2. Industry
Figure 5 illustrates the distribution of industries in Gifu
City. From 1960 to 1975, the number of enterprises in-
creased in each area. However, since 1975, their number
has declined continuously in the central and surrounding
areas. This period coincides with the time when the ring
road was constructed, particularly in the surrounding area
to the south. Similar to the population change, the num-
ber of enterp rises grew in the suburban area before 1995.
But after 1995, the number of industrial enterprises has
decreased, indicating that construction of the ring road
influenced the change in industrial locations. This road
also changed the population at the same time.
Figure 6 shows the spatial an d te mporal chang es in the
enterprise locatio ns in 1968, 1976, 1988, 19 99 using GIS.
The figure shows that the main industrial zone has moved
from the north central area to the south si nce 1970.
3.3. Commerce
Figure 7 illustrates the distribution of stores in Gifu City,
which represents the change in commercial activity.
From 1966 to 1974, the number of stores increased
continuously in all areas. From 1976 to 1979 , many small
stores moved from the downtown area because a famous
department store opened there, resulting in a rapid
decrease in the number of stores during those 3 years.
Until 1994, the number of stores was almost the same in
all areas. Subsequently, the number of stores began to
decrease in the central area year by year. New stores
opening along the ring road were one reason that
commerce outside the city increased.
Figure 8 shows spatial and temporal changes in the
number of Gifu City stores in 1968, 1976, 1988, 1999.
From 1968 to 1976, the number of stores in the central
area was constant, while the number increased in the
surrounding areas. But after 1976, the number of stores
in the central area clearly decreased, whereas the number
of stores in the surrounding and suburban areas began to
3.4. Agriculture
Data on cultivated acreage were only found for 1975 to
1995. Figure 9 shows the spatial extent of cultivated
acreage and illustrates the agriculture land-use situation.
Cultivated acreage in the surrounding and suburban
areas decreased during this time period. Thus, farmland
conversion occurred in these areas due to changes in the
population, industrial, and commerce zones.
4. Transportation System
Next, we summarize the status of road construction and
public rail transportation using historical maps and GIS-
based documents [8-10]. Construction of the ring road
had the largest impact on road maintenance in Gifu City
(Figure 10). Figure 11 illustrates the road and rail net-
works during years when major changes occurred: 1964,
1973, 1980, 1984, 1993, and 2005. Construction of the
ring road was started in 1965 and completed in 2003.
Since then, most of the through traffic within the city
center has switched to using the ring road. Construction
of the ring road has affected the formation of Gifu City,
as commercial establishments such as restaurants and
large shops are noticeable along this road, and most of
the farmland has been replaced with personal houses.
Figure 5. Distribution of enterprises of Gifu City.
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1968 1976
1988 1999
Figure 6. Spatial enterprises number of Gifu City.
Figure 7. Distribution of stores of Gifu City.
1968 1976
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1988 1999
Figure 8. Spatial stores number of Gifu City.
1975 1985 1995
Figure 9. Spatial cultivated acreage of Gifu City
Figure 10. The ring road in Gifu City.
1964 1973 1980
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. OJCE
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. OJCE
1984 1993 2005
Figure 11. Road construction and public rail transportation in Gifu City.
Three major city tram lines were present in Gifu City
in 1964, but the north line was terminated in 1993, and
all lines were terminated in 2005 (Figure 11). This fur-
ther enhanced the over-reliance on cars in Gifu City. In-
dustry also changed with construction of the ring road
and radial road-network system.
5. Relationship between Socioeconomic
Indices and Transportation
As described above, we reviewed changes in the trans-
portation system and population and socioeconomic in-
dices of Gifu City during the late 20th century. Based on
a background of high economic growth in Gifu and the
development of motorization at the same time as a policy
plan was created that attached importance to construction
of a road network and elimination of the city tram,
land-use development was also focused on the surround-
ing and suburban areas. As a result, Gifu City was
plagued by the doughnut phenomenon. It is important to
identify how changes in the transportation system affect
urban planning to provide a basis for future urban and
transportation planning. In this chapter, we use GIS to
show the spatial distribution patterns over time.
5.1. Chronology
Table 2 summarizes the chronology of events related to
facility locations, public-housing construction, planning
policy, land-use p lanning, and public transportation fro m
1965 to 2005 in Gifu City. During this period, Gifu City
created four urban master plans, in 1973, 198 0, 1986, and
1995. These plans underpinned important policies for
city development, particularly with regard to land-use
and transportation-system planning.
5.2. Changes Occurring around 1973
In 1973, the first master plan was created. This plan clas-
sified the south area, particularly the southwest area, as
an industrial zone. We compared the number of enter-
prises before 1973 (1968) and after 1973 (1976). As
shown in Figure 12, the gray-blue map illustrates the
changes in enterprise zones using the 1968/1976 data and
shows an increase in the number of enterprises. Before
the first master plan was made in 1966, the Gifu prefec-
tural hall was moved from the central area to the south-
west surrounding area. Subsequently, the number of en-
terprises started to increase in this area (Figure 5). After
this area was classified as an industrial zone, a large in-
crease in the number of enterprises occurred, showing
that the policy made a significant impact from 1968 to
1976 (Figure 12).
Figure 12 shows that the red road was a new road
(1973/1964), which traveled into the southwest area. The
ring road construction was planned in the first master plan,
and construction began from the west. At the same time, a
new national road was constructed across the southern
area. These new roads attracted area development.
5.3. Changes Occurring around 1980
Figure 13 illustrates the changes that occurred around
1980, when the second master plan was created. The base
map shows the number of store changes from 1976 to
1982. The number of stores increased significantly in the
southwest area. During this period, three large public
housing developments were built, but only one was in the
central area. The housing development, called Usa, was
built in 1980 in the southwest near the new prefectural hall.
At the same time, two vertical (north to south) roads ac-
cessing other cities were built, which also impacted area
development. The ring road was also being built in the
north at th is ti me. As sh ow n in Figure 2 , the population of
the surrounding area also increased during these years.
From the 1970s to 1980s, land use changed in the
southwest area due to the construction of the road net-
work, housing construction , an increase in the number of
public facilities, and increased policy planning.
5.4. Changes Occurring around 1984
Gifu University, which had been located near the central
area, moved to the northwest suburban area in 1982 (Fig-
ure 14). At the same time (1981), large public housing
Table 2. Chronological table of Gifu City urban development.
Year Event (facility) Public Housing
(over 100
households) Planning Policy, Land-use Planning City Tram
1966 Gifu Prefecture Office Hall was
moved to the surrounding area
1970 Tagami
Line opened
1971 Mitahora
1973 Ring-road construction
was star ted
1975 Uekano
1976 Ohora
1977 A new department store was
opened in the central area
First mas ter pla n wa s cr eate d:
Clarified land use through urban planning;
Land use categorized into city center, industrial zone,
housing zone, commercial zone, agriculture zone and
green zone;
Ring-road construction was planned [11].
1980 Usa
1981 Kurono
1982 Gifu University was moved to
a suburban area
Second master plan was created:
Land-use zones were fixed based on the first master
Regional highway network with access to other cities
was planned;
Public tra nspor tati on was c hange d to bus;
Ring road was a focus [12]
1986 The new JR West Gifu
stati on wa s op ene d Soden
1988 A new large shopping mall was
opened in the surrounding area Nagara Line
1991 A new large sports studio was
opened in the surrounding area Sakuragi
1993 Shima
Third master plan was created:
Radial ring network was planned to be the major facil-
ity construction;
Land use was zoned to seven zones such: city center,
northeast, north, northwest, west, south, and east; each
zone had a detailed delimited land-use class;
Integrated transportation system was planned [13]
1995 Gifu Prefectural Library was
moved to the surrounding area
1999 A department store in the central
area closed
2002 Another department store closed
in the central area Nagamori
Fourth master plan was created:
The central ar ea was the focus;
Surrounding area was planned as industrial and com-
mercial z ones ;
Natural scenery became important; Road construction,
such as the radial ring network, was also a focus
An integrated t ransportation system was planned again
based on a bus network [14] All elim inat e d
Figure 12. Changes around 1973.
Figure 13. Changes around 1980.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. OJCE
Figure 14. Changes around 1984.
was built near the new university ca mpus, which changed
the zone population, as shown in 3.1 of Figure 3.
The ring road was built in the western area, as planned
in the third master plan in 1986. Two new roads access-
ing areas outside the city were also built in the south,
leading to a continued increase in the number of stores,
as shown in the gray-blue map.
During this period, the doughnut phenomenon was in-
creasing markedly in every index.
5.5. Changes Occurring around 1993
The fourth master plan was created in 1995. Figure 15
shows the changes from the late 1980s to the late 1990s
around the fourth master plan. The map below also
shows the increase in the number of stores (1999/1988).
Many city facilities were built during this period. In
1986, a new JR station (West Gifu) opened, and a new
large shopping center opened in the surrounding area in
1988. A new sport studio was built in the surrounding
area in 1991 (Figure 15). Four public housing develop-
ments were also built from 1986 to 199 3 near the central
area based on the master plan to reactivate the central
area. But due to the ring road and other road construction
shown in Figure 15, this plan was difficult to realize.
Consequently, the central area has been in a continual
decline, as development of the surrounding and suburban
areas has progressed. Another important change was
elimination of the city tram (Nagara line) in 1988. The
transportation system changed significantly in these 10
years, which affected land use more than policy.
5.6. Changes Occurring around 2005
Construction of the ring-road network was completed in
2003, making car access to Gifu City more convenient.
Figure 16 shows the change s that occurred aroun d 2005.
A new prefectural library and culture hall were built near
the prefecture hall and West-Gifu station in 1995, and
new public housing was built in the east subu rban area in
Three main roads were built around the outside of Gifu
City to access the other regions. With completion of the
ring-road network, the formation of a Gifu City road
network as a radial-ring network was completed. All of
the city tram lines were eliminated in 2005, and buses
were the only public transportation system. This acceler-
ated motorization in this region. As a result, Gifu City is
now further plagued by the doughnut phenomenon, as
shown in the map in Figure 16. Even the total number of
stores had decreased, whereas it increased in some sub-
urban areas, particularly along the ring road.
6. How Did Changes in the Transportation
System Affect Urban Planning?
The demand for urban transportation grew as the city
population and economy grew. There is a predictable
public voice for more transportation facilities in urban
areas. As described above, we know that the changes in
the Gifu City transportation system had an important
impact on u rb an plannin g.
Figure 15. Changes around 1993.
Figure 16. Changes around 2005.
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With high economic growth, the motorization of Gifu
City increased continuously, creating a demand for road-
network construction. The ring road completed these
demands and created the city framework. It also changed
land use by industries, commerce, and agriculture. Indus-
trial and commercial land use moved from downtown to
the area along the ring road.
Furthermore, the public argued that the tram impeded
car traffic, which forced the local government to give up
the tram. This changed the public transportation system
and exacerbated car traffic. A life style revolving around
the automobile affects urban planning in a car-oriented
7. Conclusions and Further Study
We have described changes in land use, socioeconomic
indices, and the transportation system in Gifu City d uring
the late 20th century using GIS methods, and we have
attempted to identify a relationship among urban plan-
ning factors. During these years, Gifu City focused on
construction of th e ring road network, eliminated the city
tram, changed city public transportation to the bus, and
moved the housing and industrial zones to the surround-
ing and suburban areas. As a result, commerce moved at
the same time. This process was an important cause of
the doughnut phenomenon. It is necessary to bring the
focus back to public transportation if we are to shift to
environmentally friendly and sustainable cities.
In future studies, we will use an integrated land-use
transportation model to create a p olicy-ch ang e simulation
using historical data to verify the mathematical method
of analyzing the relationship among urban-planning factors.
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