Inter-city consulting

I am currently writing a paper which I will present at this year’s Association of Asian Studies conference (virtually, alas, and not in person in Hawai’i). It is about two consultancy reports that Professor William A. Robson wrote about Tokyo in the late 1960s. I am still thinking about what exactly I will cover and what argument I’ll make, so a few scribbles below the break might help me focus.

Robson (center) with the Greater London Group in 1968

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Memory lane

Normal operations on this blog resume with a report of my recent trip to the UK. Only a month after our Christmas vacation, this time my visit was of an academic nature and took me back to old stomping grounds.


SOAS Library

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Flying to Japan

We sometimes take for granted how easy it is to fly across the world. The jet-engine revolution in civil aviation of the 1950s cut distances short considerably. I stumbled upon a few timetables from the 1950s and 60s which really drive that point home.


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Woodberry Down

To my surprise, one of Europe’s biggest urban regeneration projects is slowly taking shape close to where I used to live in London. Woodberry Down is an older estate and one of London’s most iconic. Practically all buildings will be torn down to make space for a very ambitious development. I took a stroll around here last weekend.

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Souzou, Hyde Park

We spent an afternoon with friends two weekends ago, first to see an exhibition in the Wellcome Collection near Euston Station followed by a stroll around Hyde Park. Here we walked past London’s possibly most exclusive real estate address (1 Hyde Park) on our way to this year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavillon, designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto.


Serpentine Gallery Pavillon by Sou Fujimoto

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Cheviot House

This Art Deco building on Commercial Road near Shadwell DLR caught my eye when walking the area recently. Cheviot House was built in 1937 for textile merchants called Kornberg & Segal. The local Tower Hamlets borough apparently has plans to demolish the building and earmark the plot for new residential development.

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The Thames

Back from Burma and en route to Germany and the US, we’ve stopped by London again. I am staying with my in-laws in Woolwich Arsenal and they¬†have splendid views across the Thames. Come to think of it, a chunk of my recent London exploration has had a connection to this river in one way or another.


Margate, where the Thames has long completed its journey to join the ocean. May 2012

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Seven Sisters

I briefly passed by Seven Sisters this weekend to catch the Victoria Line. The Wards Corner Building below is a former department store that has been slated for demolition for some while. A regeneration project is bound to transform the whole area.sevensisters01

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