“Y-Wai Hiroba,” located in Isogo ward, Yokohama, is a community space and shared office created by renovating a vacant house. The first floor is a community space where locals can get together and hold meetings, while the second floor is a shared office that welcomes local businesses. The community space is also used as a living lab so that local businesses and citizens come together and discuss to address local issues. The operating company is Taiyojuken Corporation and the vacant house management initiative is named “Root House Project”.
Another good thing of Y-Wai Hiroba is that it can be functioned as a regional disaster prevention base in the event of a natural disaster such as a typhoon or earthquake. The house will get equipped with an off-grid photovoltaic power generation system with a storage battery, which is to supply enough electricity in the event of natural disasters. A shelter is also expected to be installed in the house in the future.
Renovating vacant houses, Y-Wai Hiroba has created a decentralized regional infrastructure with two different functions, a local community space and a disaster prevention base. The number of vacant houses in Yokohama was about 178,000 in 2018 with the vacancy rate of 10%, and the number continues to increase every year. Y-Wai Hiroba’s efforts have attracted attention as a good example of regional revitalization model using vacant houses.