Town Planning Review

Building suburbs in Japan

Continuous unplanned change on the urban fringe

Town Planning Review (2001), 72, (3), 247–274.

Abstract

This paper examines suburban development on Tokyo’s metropolitan fringe during the 1970–92 period and shows that to a very great extent the old patterns of sprawl that the 1968 planning system was designed to prevent have continued. Local governments have been hamstrung by the absence of adequate development control legislation. The most notable characteristic of the suburban case study area examined here is that it has been, and seems likely to continue to be, in a process of constant change. This is not merely a question of infilling of new houses, but rather a matter of significant incremental change in the very character of the area. Major new arterial roads are being pushed through existing neighbourhoods, bringing blocks of apartments and new commercial land uses associated with highway strip development. The relative stability that characterises many suburban residential environments in other developed countries is notably absent here.

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DORE, R. (1959), Land Reform in Japan, London, Athlone Press. Land Reform in Japan Google Scholar

FUJITA, K. and HILL, R. C. (1997), ‘Together and equal: place stratification in Osaka’ in P. P. Karan and K. Stapleton (eds), The Japanese City, Lexington, KY, The University Press of Kentucky, 106–33. Together and equal: place stratification in Osaka The Japanese City 106 33 Google Scholar

GLICKMAN, N. (1979), The Growth and Management of the Japanese Urban System, New York, Academic Press. The Growth and Management of the Japanese Urban System Google Scholar

HANAYAMA, Y. (1986), Land Markets and Land Policy in a Metropolitan Area: A Case Study of Tokyo, Boston, Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain. Land Markets and Land Policy in a Metropolitan Area: A Case Study of Tokyo Google Scholar

HAYAKAWA, K. and HIRAYAMA, Y. (1991), ‘The impact of the minkatsu policy on Japanese housing and land use’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 9, 151–64. The impact of the minkatsu policy on Japanese housing and land use Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 9 151 64 Google Scholar

HEBBERT, M. (1994), ‘Sen-biki amidst desakota: urban sprawl and urban planning in Japan’ in P. Shapira, I. Masser and D. W. Edgington (eds), Planning for Cities and Regions in Japan, Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 70–91. Sen-biki amidst desakota: urban sprawl and urban planning in Japan Planning for Cities and Regions in Japan 70 91 Google Scholar

HEBBERT, M. and NAKAI, N. (1988), ‘Deregulation of Japanese planning’, Town Planning Review, 59, 383–95. Deregulation of Japanese planning Town Planning Review 59 383 95 Google Scholar

ISHIDA, Y. (1987), Nihon Kindai Toshikeikaku no Hyakunen (The Last 100 Years of Japanese Urban Planning), Tokyo, Jichitai Kenkyusha. Nihon Kindai Toshikeikaku no Hyakunen (The Last 100 Years of Japanese Urban Planning) Google Scholar

ISHIMIZU, T. and ISHIHARA, H. (1980), ‘The distribution and movement of the population in Japan’s three major metropolitan areas’ in Association of Japanese Geographers (ed.), Geography of Japan, Tokyo, Teikoku Shoin, 347–78. The distribution and movement of the population in Japan’s three major metropolitan areas Geography of Japan 347 78 Google Scholar

JAPAN CITY PLANNING ASSOCIATION (1995), Toshi Keikaku Handobuku (City Planning Handbook), Tokyo, Kenset-susho (Ministry of Construction). Google Scholar

JAPAN MINISTRY OF CONSTRUCTION (MOC) (1991), City Planning in Japan, Tokyo, Japan Ministry of Construction and Japan International Cooperation Agency. Google Scholar

JAPAN POPULATION CENSUS (1995), Analytical Series No. 3: Population for Densely Inhabited Districts, Tokyo, Japan Prime Minister’s Office. Google Scholar

JINNAI, H. (1995), Tokyo: A Spatial Anthropology, Berkeley, University of California Press. Tokyo: A Spatial Anthropology Google Scholar

KATSUMATA, W. (1993), ‘Possibilities of environmental improvement considering the conditions of the inhabitants in small-scale residential developments in the suburb of Tokyo metropolitan area (Shutoken Kogai Minikaihatsu Jutakuchi ni Okeru KyoJu Jissai to Jukankyo Seibi no Hoko)’, Collected Papers of the Japanese City Planning Association: (Nihon Toshi Keikaku Gakkai Ronbun Shu), 28, 823–28. Possibilities of environmental improvement considering the conditions of the inhabitants in small-scale residential developments in the suburb of Tokyo metropolitan area (Shutoken Kogai Minikaihatsu Jutakuchi ni Okeru KyoJu Jissai to Jukankyo Seibi no Hoko) Collected Papers of the Japanese City Planning Association: (Nihon Toshi Keikaku Gakkai Ronbun Shu) 28 823 28 Google Scholar

KOBAYASHI, S. (ed.) (1999), Chihou Bunken Jidai no Machizukuri Jorei (Local Community Building Ordinances in the Era of Local Rights), Tokyo, Gakugei Shuppansha. Chihou Bunken Jidai no Machizukuri Jorei (Local Community Building Ordinances in the Era of Local Rights) Google Scholar

McKEAN, M. (1981), Environmental Protest and Citizen Politics in Japan, Berkeley, University of California Press. Environmental Protest and Citizen Politics in Japan Google Scholar

MIKUNI, M. (1999), ‘The real state and problems of the changes in land use in the urbanisation control area: a case study in Inage ward, Chiba city’, Journal of Architecture Planning and Environmental Engineering, 34, 185–90. The real state and problems of the changes in land use in the urbanisation control area: a case study in Inage ward, Chiba city Journal of Architecture Planning and Environmental Engineering 34 185 90 Google Scholar

MORI, H. (1998), ‘Land conversion at the urban fringe: a comparative study of Japan, Britain and The Netherlands’, Urban Studies, 35, 1541–58. Land conversion at the urban fringe: a comparative study of Japan, Britain and The Netherlands Urban Studies 35 1541 58 Google Scholar

NOGUCHI, Y. (1990), ‘Land problem in Japan’, Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, 31, 73–86. Land problem in Japan Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics 31 73 86 Google Scholar

NOGUCHI, Y. (1992), ‘Land problems and policies in Japan: structural aspects’ in J. O. Haley and K. Yamamura (eds), Land Issues in Japan: A Policy Failure?, Seattle, Society for Japanese Studies, 11–32. Land problems and policies in Japan: structural aspects Land Issues in Japan: A Policy Failure? 11 32 Google Scholar

OIZUMI, E. (1994), ‘Property finance in Japan: expansion and collapse of the bubble economy’, Environment and Planning A, 26, 199–213. Property finance in Japan: expansion and collapse of the bubble economy Environment and Planning A 26 199 213 Google Scholar

REED, S. R. (1986), Japanese Prefectures and Policymaking, Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press. Japanese Prefectures and Policymaking Google Scholar

SAITAMA KEN (1992), Saitama Ken Toshi Keikaku Kisochousa (Saitama Prefecture City Planning Basic Survey), Urawa, Japan, Saitama Ken Jutaku Toshi Bu Toshi Keikaku Ka (Saitama Prefecture Housing and Urban Affairs Department, City Planning Office). Saitama Ken Toshi Keikaku Kisochousa (Saitama Prefecture City Planning Basic Survey) Google Scholar

SHELTON, B. (1999), Learning from the Japanese City: West Meets East in Urban Design, London, E & FN Spon. Learning from the Japanese City: West Meets East in Urban Design Google Scholar

SIES, M. C. (1997), ‘Paradise retained: an analysis of persistence in planned, exclusive suburbs, 1880–1980’, Planning Perspectives, 12, 165–91. Paradise retained: an analysis of persistence in planned, exclusive suburbs, 1880–1980 Planning Perspectives 12 165 91 Google Scholar

SORENSEN, A. (1998), ‘Land readjustment, urban planning and urban sprawl in the Tokyo metropolitan area’ (PhD Thesis), Planning Studies, Geography, London, London School of Economics. Land readjustment, urban planning and urban sprawl in the Tokyo metropolitan area Planning Studies, Geography Google Scholar

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SORENSEN, A. (2000b), ‘Land readjustment and metropolitan growth: an examination of land development and urban sprawl in the Tokyo metropolitan area’, Progress in Planning, 53, 1–113. Land readjustment and metropolitan growth: an examination of land development and urban sprawl in the Tokyo metropolitan area Progress in Planning 53 1 113 Google Scholar

SORENSEN, A. (forthcoming), The Making of Urban Japan: Urbanisation and Planning from Edo to the 21st Century, London, Routledge. The Making of Urban Japan: Urbanisation and Planning from Edo to the 21st Century Google Scholar

TERUOKA, S. (1989), ‘Land reform and post-war Japanese capitalism’ in T. Morris-Suzuki and T. Seiyama (eds), Japanese Capitalism since 1945, New York, M. E. Sharpe, 74–104. Land reform and post-war Japanese capitalism Japanese Capitalism since 1945 74 104 Google Scholar

WATANABE, S. (1985), Hikaku Toshi Keikaku Josetsu (An Introduction to Comparative City Planning), Tokyo, Sanseido. Hikaku Toshi Keikaku Josetsu (An Introduction to Comparative City Planning) Google Scholar

WATANABE, S. (1999), Shimin Sanka no Machizukuri : Masutaa Pur an Zukuri no Genjou kara (Citizen Participation-Based Community Building: From the Point of View of Making Master Plans), Tokyo, Gakugei Shuppansha. Shimin Sanka no Machizukuri : Masut aa Pur an Zukuri no Genjou kara (Citizen Participation-Based Community Building: From the Point of View of Making Master Plans) Google Scholar

YAMAMURA, K. (1992), ‘LDP dominance and high land price in Japan: a study in positive political economy’ in J. O. Haley and K. Yamamura (eds), Land Issues in Japan: A Policy Failure?, Seattle, Society for Japanese Studies, 33–76. LDP dominance and high land price in Japan: a study in positive political economy Land Issues in Japan: A Policy Failure? 33 76 Google Scholar

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Sorensen, André