Tokyo 1961 | Tokyo Bay Plan

Since the dawn of 20th century, the population of Tokyo had been growing exponentially due to technical developments and economical growth. Such condition unfortunately contributed in development of slum districts in congested industrial areas. Most of these population, as Tokyo became too congested and expensive, needed to found more economical housings in further away areas. (What had been a city of 1.4 million population at the start of 20th century grew into 9.6 million by 1960). Thus the population eventually dispersed in all directions away from the center of Tyoko, growing in a radial manner.

This manner of growth, as suggested by Kenzo Tange, did not facilitate efficiently enough for Tokyo population that had been reaching 10 million. As people living in more than 40 km away needed to travel into city, the city needed to accommodate at least 2 million influx population that went in and out of Tokyo. Therefore to enhance the flexibility of environment Tange proposed development of linear structure, with its core as Tokyo. It has its adaptation of the assembly lines in such industrial age.

Proposal by Kenzo Tange in 1961. This idea, although not realized, provided uprising Japanese architecture movement Metabolism the solid foundation.
Proposal by Kenzo Tange in 1961. His idea, although not realized, provided uprising Japanese architecture movement Metabolism the solid foundation.














Emphasis on the linearity
Emphasis on the linearity













The linear city would have cyclical transportation. This will require separation of pedestrian and vehicular road system, and its relationship with building in term of scales needed change as well. One-way traffic system was also advocated due to its ability to accommodate twenty times the volume of traffic that Tokyo had at the time.

More architectural detail of his proposal will be discussed.


GUSTAVO, S. A. (ed.) (1979) Kenzo Tange. Barcelona: Estudiopaperback.


1 Comment on “Tokyo 1961 | Tokyo Bay Plan

  1. The challenge from over-grown population is rather common in metropolis. Different from the Tokyo Bay Proposal by Kenzo Tange, Hong Kong chose an underground solution to release the traffic pressure in downtown to protect Victoria harbor and preserve its waterborne function. Consequently, the Central-Wan Chai bypass as well as the Airport Express line are arranged under the reclamation land of Central.
    I would like to question on a similar argument on necessity of Kenzo Tange’s Tokyo Bay Proposal. Is there any possible alternative proposal or improvements?
    How could it prove its advantage and superiority?

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