The geography of the changes in agricultural land use in the Sendai Metropolitan Area, Japan: An examination of the topographic characteristics using the geographical information system

Yuzuru Isoda, Doo-Chul Kim, Keigo Matsuoka

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This study explored the changes in agricultural land use in the Sendai metropolitan area since the 1970s using the Geographical Information System. The study area, being a regional center for the Tohoku region, has experienced rapid urban expansion since the 1970s. It was found that notwithstanding the transfer of 18% of arable land to urban use, there has been a slight increase in arable land due mainly to the reclamation of forests into pasture. Urban development in the study area occurred mainly on forest-covered hills, and it was arable land unsuited for agriculture that had been released for urban developments. The development of arable land suitable for agriculture has been slower than expected, considering the rapidity of urban expansion during the study period. An extrapolation of the changes in arable land use since the 1970s suggests that paddy fields and dry fields close to existing urbanized areas are likely to be urbanized by 2020 ; whilst arable land unsuitable for either agricultural or urban use, and arable land newly developed since the 1970s are likely to be abandoned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-64
Number of pages30
JournalScience Reports of the Tohoku University, Series 7: Geography
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes



  • Agricultural land use
  • GIS
  • Sendai metropolitan area
  • Topographic characteristics
  • Urban expansion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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