Place attachment and residential satisfaction in a post-war suburban newtown is explored in this study. Developed as dormitory towns for young office workers’ families commuting to cities, newtowns in Japan typically house a homogenous age group and those built during the post-war economic boom are currently experiencing rapid aging of the population. Sustainability of such suburban settings is an issue under debate and knowledge of residents’ evaluation of and attachment to the environment is needed.

A questionnaire survey was conducted in two neighborhoods in a newtown. The neighborhoods are part of a large scale newtown project developed in the early 1980s and consist of owned detached houses. A total of 930 respondents evaluated their satisfaction of their house and neighborhood on a 5-point scale for a total of 36 items. They were also asked about their reasons for choosing the house/city and future plans.

Length of residence correlated with satisfaction but was not related to the degree of place attachment. However, attachment scores were higher for those who had lived in the same newtown before moving to the present house and had chosen the place because of the residential environment. 27% of the respondents had plans or a desire to relocate. They had lower levels of satisfaction and attachment. It was notable that one-third of the respondents stated passive reasons such as availability or that it was the only option given to them from the housing agency (residents needed to draw a lot due to housing shortage at the time) for living in the present house. This group had a lower level of attachment and a higher percentage of plans to relocate, suggesting the motivation in the beginning has an effect to their later relations with the residential environment.

Qualitative interviews are underway and preliminary findings are to be presented together with the above results.