Two surveys were conducted in Tagawa-shi and Soeda-machi using the same set of questions. The population of Tagawa-shi is 56,547, and that of Soeda-machi is 13,763 in 1995. These are two of ten areas which constitute Tagawa district of Fukuoka Prefecture, and Tagawa-shi is the central city of Tagawaga district. The respondents of the survey carried out in Tagawa-shi were females in the 30-49 age group who live in a part of densely populated area of the city. The respondents of the survey carried out in Soeda-machi were females in the 30-59 age group who live in the central part of the town. The contents of the questionnaire include opinions about the amenities in the area where they live, life structure, and community life.
The decentralization of population is one of the urgent problems in Japanese society. Tagawa-shi and Soeda-machi can be considered as samples of small cities or towns, and these areas should be the focal point of the decentralization policy. Some say that those who live in megalopolises want to commune with nature and will gradually move to small cities or towns. But what is really happening is different.
Living in small cities or towns must become attractive to those who want to move. The areas should have basic amenities and something that cannot be found in megalopolises. The compactness of small cities or towns is beneficial to city or town planning for attaining such goals.
It was found that subjective evaluations by the residents about the amenities of the city are not very useful information and that being able to commune with nature is an important factor in the evaluation of the level of amenities, although it does not influence the actual residential mobility.
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