I wanted to share and briefly discuss a great graph on income inequalities in Tokyo and Osaka that I found. It has been compiled by the NLI Research Institute and shows interesting variations across the 23 wards.
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A few weeks ago I discussed the concept of “Tokyo as a slum” and how apt it is to describe living conditions in the postwar period. This is important if we are to glean how useful Tokyo’s experience is to today’s emerging megacities. A more fitting description, I found, may be that of “shared space poverty”. I took a good look at the 1963 Housing Survey for data to support that line of thinking.
1963 construction on the Metropolitan Expressway (photo source)
I have been wading through historical budget data for the 23 wards here in Tokyo. To many, nothing could be more dry. However, I think that understanding public finance in the first megacity holds an important key in explaining the city’s success.
Tokyo as seen from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
I re-read Matias’s and Rahul’s article on “When Tokyo Was A Slum” on Next City. It makes a good qualitative case as to why the city’s incremental, unplanned growth post-WWII may hold lessons for today’s developing cities. I looked for some quantitative substantiation of their claim that indeed Tokyo was a slum. Here is what I dug up.
Meguro-ku, seen from Town Hall
…goes the title of a relatively old paper by Professor David Flath, who teaches economics at Ritsumeikan University these days. As I study Tokyo’s postwar history and, as part of that, am interested in the density of retail stores, it’s worth summing up the main points and adding a few more thoughts. The high density of retail is a phenomenon that despite several years of de-densification stays roughly intact today.
Evening conbini scene, Nakano-ku
In lieu of a proper post (it’s been quiet here for a while), herewith some recent photos. I resurrected my compact camera a few days ago, and am very happy to give the usual smartphone shots a break.
The role of housing in shaping urban space is extremely important. For that matter, I re-read an important book on the subject and jotted down some notes for myself after the jump.
Scrap and build, Nakano-ku
What happens to urban equity when a city grows extremely fast? Next up in the urban inequality series is a post on Tokyo’s historical housing inequalities that aims to shed some light at the following questions: Over time, how much living space did the average inhabitant of Japan/Tokyo have and what was the corresponding homeownership ratio? Were there big differences between the 23 wards?
Some contours of housing in Tokyo vs. Japan, source
Below see some interesting tables I have found in a recent research report and of which I want a record, and why not on this blog? They are about Tokyo’s population distribution in and outside of the 23 wards. Nothing earth-shattering, but some ideas on how to present data at the very least. An interesting graph on land price increases concludes this post.