Tokyo | Transformation in the 1960s

Post-war Japan since the 1920s was in need of development of a strong industrial trading sector for national economic survival. The Japanese government passed policies that encouraged the industry along coastal line, resulting in extensive landfills in tidal bays including those in Tokyo, the capitol. In 1960, Prime Minister Ikeda issued the “Double Income Plan”, aiming to boost faster economic growth based on collective public investment in new roads, water supply and infrastructure, mainly in the metropolitan region, i.e. Tokyo.

However, there was a major problem in the Japanese zoning system, which only consisted of four zones: residential, commercial, industrial and quasi-industrial. There were little standard in housing and land development, let alone subdivision control. That caused Tokyo to become a chaotic mosaic of high-density residential and commercial areas next to industrial plants with few green areas. The city appeared to be a conglomerate of automatic, mechanical factories branching from transport arteries, and surrounded by a dense fabric of buildings.

These negative effects to the city brought by rapid urban growth and limited planning effort by the government led to the rise of avant-garde architects with visions of finding a new solution that could cope with modern society. This also led to the subsequent rise of Metabolist architects.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.