Sydney

It’s almost been a year that we have moved down under from Thailand. Moving countries doesn’t get easier the more one does it (I find, at least), but now it seems more and more to me that we’ve “arrived” here. Continue reading

FX liquidity situation in Bangladesh

For record keeping, here the abstract of a short piece I wrote on Bangladesh for my day job: “The FX liquidity of Bangladesh’s banking sector has been deteriorating significantly recently. Apart from sector-wide data and anecdotal evidence, the exposure of individual banks can be estimated by weighing the relative mix of the various constituents of the banks’ FX businesses (import, export, remittances). A challenging macroeconomic outlook is set to put further pressure on the banks’ FX position going forward.”

Urban indicators of living standards

I have decided to distil one more article out of my dissertation and then call it quits. I want to focus on the measurement of urban living standards and the “civil minimum” as well as other innovations carried out by TMG in the late 1960s and early 1970s chiefly under the Minobe administration. Continue reading

Wrapping up the publications

With my piece on the 1967 Robson Report forthcoming, I am nearing the final stretches of publishing the research of my dissertation in peer-reviewed journals. Finishing my PhD in three years from 2015-18, I wasn’t able to do it while engaged in my doctoral research. This was fortuitous in hindsight (I am biased of course) as it kept me from being distracted by the vagaries of scientific publishing. It would have made both processes–the publishing and the research–longer and altered the final product significantly.   Continue reading

New intellectual ventures

Having a little more mental space –a major paper on the Robson Reports is currently under review with an academic journal and work is still in summer mode– I have had some time to think about new potential intellectual ventures, or “future ideas”, as this category on the blog is called. Continue reading

Memory and space

For the walker in Tokyo, the unexpected is always waiting (Jinnai Hidenobu)

Craig Mod is a publisher / artist / entrepreneur and flaneur whose newsletters I follow. He is based in Tokyo and accompanies his regular dispatches with great photography in which he captures details of the Japanese capital that are sometimes hard to describe in words.

His most recent “pop up” mailing list was a weeklong walking tour through the Tokyo of his memories. I was reminded of some of the academic stuff I have been teaching my students at Temple about space and memory, but also of my own time in the city.

Continue reading

Tokyo bibliography

I wrote a lengthy annotated bibliography for Oxford University Press’s Urban Studies series, for which I got commissioned last year and which kept me busy for an extended period of time. This 20-page document was much more fun to prepare than I thought.

It felt a little bit like writing an ode to the city I have come to know the best of all places I have ever lived in. This is because I spent several years researching its past as my full time occupation of course, but also because getting to know it required me to shed all preconceptions of how to perceive space.

My Japanese language skills were never good enough to approach Tokyo through primary literature, so this bibliography lists English works only. It is by no means exhaustive but the 100+ sources cover a lot of different aspects of the city’s history and current issues.

Jordan Sand offered generous help in identifying new sources and trimming the narrative. I hope it flows well enough to also offer something beyond the specific research query people might use this list for and discover something new.

The full text is behind the OUP paywall, but I hear many academic institutions have access to it. If not, please get in touch.

The thematic chapters are:

  • Introduction
  • General Historical Overviews for Edo/Tokyo
  • 1603–1867: Edo Period
  • The Scepter of Destruction
  • Economic History
  • Political and Social History
  • Contested Spaces
  • Tokyo as a World, Global, and Neoliberal City
  • History of Urban Planning
  • Tokyo Urban Form
  • Architecture
  • Metabolism
  • From Urban Tropes to Urban Theory
  • Housing
  • Placemaking and Heritage
  • Iconic Districts
  • Tokyo Neighborhoods
  • Transportation
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Tokyo Imagined