I stumbled upon an interesting blog post on Market Urbanism from a few years ago that talks about Tokyo’s surprising lack of density. I would disagree somewhat with that statement. More below the jump.
Tokyo towards the West as seen from Shinjuku
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.
Rather than dumping a whole 8,000-word essay on this blog, I thought that it makes more sense to fast forward straight to the conclusion. Please read below the jump what I found out about the impact the Allied Occupation of Japan between 1945 and 1952 had on Tokyo’s urban development. I may chop up the main body of the text and post it on the blog in segments if there is any interest. Just drop me a line!
Ebisu shacks 1945 – from Japan Air Raids
A few interesting pieces on housing, construction and real estate in Tokyo and beyond caught my attention lately. I wanted to collect them here for future reference and research. I wonder whether what was once key to understanding Japanese cities’ success in dealing with unbridled urbanisation has become an impediment to its citizens enjoying the fruits of an affluent society today.
The view from my balcony in Nakano, Tokyo (May 2016) Continue reading
As my Tokyo research progresses, I have been looking a little more closely at the history of Sumida Ward, one of Tokyo’s traditional manufacturing areas. Today I took a walk from Hikifune to Ryogoku.
Steel plating company, Sumida Ward
In lieu of a proper post in May and in order to preserve some memories from this time of the year, herewith some photos taken over the past couple of weeks.
Taipei April 2016
The second presentation I gave during the “Inheriting the City” conference in Taipei last week was on Tokyo. As with the one on Yangon, I am still debating whether I should write it up as a full-blown paper. In order not to forget what I said, herewith a summary.