Thematic Approach of Leisure in Designing the Urban Fabric, Odaiba 2

Since post Second World War, Tokyo experienced a gradual decline of urban cores and city centres, showcasing that for many industrial cities the urban core was never instrumental for a healthy built environment for all. which pushed Tokyo’s planning to be in a position that is close to sustainability. Urban planners began to adapt to the economic progress and social impact to the urban decline since Economy Bubble burst in 1991 [1]

The daily lives of the Japanese is supported by a dense network of railroads,  with a commuter rail system spanning over 2000 km , forming the arteries the city. Several stations are supersized to manage large streams of passengers up to 3 million which included shoppers and commuters. As such there is a strong tendency among retail shopping centres to relocate to suburban areas or residential satellites such as Odaiba for quicker development. [2]

Fig, 1. Land Use in Odaiba, 2001

Consumption as an urban activity coupled with the convention of leisure has integrated into the Japanese society, becoming an important aspect of life after technological advancements. Advanced economies subsequently transitioned into post-industrial societies that revolved around consumption and thus urban development in the 1990s reflected these changes.

This can be demonstrated through the work, live and play model by Murayama, 2004 which is comprised of the 3 variables as mentioned before which are essential components for sustainable urban spaces which have a close affinity for better qualities of life

Fig, 2. Concept of Amenity Environment Around Leisure
  1. X-axis representswork with is employment within the urban space

iii. Y axis represents residential space as associated to live

  1. Z-axis represents play, element for leisure and entertainment

All 3 elements are also closely linked to leisure and tourism which played a major role in the revitalization plan that ultimately influenced changes to the original Odaiba plan. [3]


[1] Koolhaas, Rem., Hans Ulrich. Obrist, Kayoko. Ota, James. Westcott, and Office for Metropolitan Architecture. AMO. Project Japan : Metabolism Talks-. Köln ; London: TASCHEN GmbH, 2011.

[2] Golany, Gideon., Keisuke. Hanaki, and Osamu. Koide. Japanese Urban Environment. 1st ed. Oxford: Elsevier, 1998. 69-71

[3] Meiko Murayama and Gavin Parker, “Sustainable Leisure and Tourism Space Development in Post-Industrial Cities: the Case of Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan”, Tourism, Culture and Regeneration, (CABI, 2006), 69–84.

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