Sunday, 4 November 2018

More on trying to rescue rural places from depopulation - Japanese craft beer

I've written a few times about how rural places in the developed world are depopulating, leaving behind the old, ill and poor, as people move to the city. And the local governments of these depopulating places - in Ireland, Switzerland, Devon, Sardinia and Calabria - are trying new ways to get folk back living in remote towns and village. Most of this is about straightforward bribery - we'll pay you to come and live here, we'll give a free house, we'll provide a variety of financial incentives.

This one from Japan is a little different and involves art, beer and broadband:
It’s not just craft beer that has attracted young urbanites to Kamiyama. However, the Kamiyama Beer Project is symbolic for chiho sosei (creating life in the countryside), a set of government measures to attract a younger population to Japan’s rapidly shrinking rural population. Kamiyama’s population has decreased from 21,000 in 1955 to around 6,000 today. But, a slow increase is on its way as the town recently introduced high-speed broadband Internet, satellite office spaces for city-based companies, an artist in residence program, a local farming project, and a craft beer brewery.
I wish them well - technology ought to make living in cities less necessary but it still seems that the lure of the bright lights pulls the young away from fields, farms and tranquillity.


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