Nara, Japan – Airbnb is collaborating on the creation of a new space designed to revitalise an ailing community.
Rapid urbanisation and an ageing population in Japan have contributed to the decline of rural areas such as Yoshina. The town in the Nara region near Osaka has been hit hard by these factors, resulting in 750 homes lying empty. Architect Go Hasegawa is working with land donated by Yoshina to rethink how the community can use its space in new ways as part of Japan’s House Vision 2016 exhibition.
Hasegawa has interpreted this year’s theme of CO-DIVIDUAL: Split but Connected, Separate but Gathered as a community centre that will serve an important social function for a rural town and create a second economy focused on tourism for the area’s craftsmen. Visitors can book to stay at Yoshino Cedar House via Airbnb from August and will be hosted by the community in order to experience the town's small-batch saké factory, cedar production, chopstick factory and leafer scene in the autumn.
The kind of co-ownership made popular by Airbnb is fast becoming the new normal among Generation Rent. Communal living spaces such as The Collective, popular among young professionals, promote a new way of living focused on the sharing of resources.