Phew. I have successfully “disengaged” from reading the news and logging on to Facebook for what feels like an eternity. Am I denying reality? No, but I want to turn down the volume for the time being, and news has a way of reaching you despite not checking three times a day. All this leaves more space for books, including Branko Milanovic’s “Global Inequality”.
I am a Tokyo-based author and aspiring economic historian. Below find scribbles from my inchoate explorations in space and time.
The treasure trove that is the 1961 TMG urban planning atlas has two fascinating maps on the distribution of factories and their growth. They show that the traditional areas of industrial activity are also attracting most of the growth in new factories.
With two maps in tow, I look at Tokyo’s land use and zoning in the late 1950s. Zoning designations largely reflected then-current land uses, except for some visionary (and eventually never realized) ideas about greenbelts and decongestion.
As I go through the TMG publication I referred to in this previous post, herewith some links to maps of historical Tokyo for my and everyone else’s reference. Please feel free to supplement this with your own links in the comments, I will add to the post.
1959 railway map, from Flickr user Rob Ketcherside
My supervisor and I dug up a fascinating book in the library a few weeks ago. It is an early 1960s Tokyo Metropolitan Government publication that introduces the main urban planning issues Tokyo was facing ahead of the Olympics via thematic maps. Herewith its take take on population growth and density.
The reason to visit China this time in 2016 had a lot to do with my new professional passion, i.e. the history and development of cities. After having met the author of a book project I have always admired as well as pondering life amid landscapes zooming by the train window, herewith some notes on inspiration.
Hongqiao Integrated Transport Hub, Shanghai
A shame I don’t speak the language and have more time and inspiration to explore the country(side). And still, the occasional trip to China has always been worth it. This time was no different.
It does not happen too often that a topic as seemingly arcane as Japanese zoning makes it on one of the biggest economics blogs out there. So I would be amiss in not pointing my readers to the interesting discussions unfolding on Tyler Cowen’s Marginal Revolution.
View from Atago Hills Tower in Tokyo, 2013
I have decided to put some of my little research assignments (largely “self-assigned”, that is) onto the blog in order to share them more widely and get myself to be more disciplined in articulating my thoughts. This one below is about Japan’s infrastructure investments over the last 100+ years.