The Mirage Entrance of the Age of Information -1980s

Conceptual diagram of a satellite-based CATV system, illustrated by Masuyama Keiichi in 1988 [3].
Stepping into the 1980s, the vision of the future of Japan shifted from the mega-structures to the network of information infrastructure, from the district inquiry hotlines of weather forecast to the applications of satellite maps and data management in public healthcare and disaster relief. Professionals in urban planning began to claim that it was necessary to design space programmed for the transmission and display of information otherwise human would not be able to catch up with the evolving environment of the city [3].

On the other hand, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) was searching for an opportunity to build a series of sub-centre towns around the CBD in order to decentralise the concentrated businesses and living areas. Meanwhile, the leader of the executive council of TMG – Shunichi Suzuki also promised the citizens to boost the stagnating economy and build up a better city model in the international stage [4].

Initiative Review Committee of Tokyo Teleport Town. “Initiative Review Committee Final Report of Tokyo Teleport Town”. March 1987 [4].
In the journals “Administration and Planning of the Tokyo as an Information and Communication Network Infrastructure” and “Information society and life style”, Yasuo Matsuyuki and Masuyama keiichi and, who are professionals of technology and engineering, both used the Tokyo Teleport Town to illustrate the possibility of a new information era. In their descriptions, the town would have a telecom centre which covers long-distance communications using the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), access to existing urban areas, and intra-region communication networks. Each building at the core area would have a satellite station on the rooftop for the transmission of information while the basement would serve for international exhibitions, business training centres and restaurants [3][4].

 

Future of fill dam automation and robotization illustrated by the Construction Robot Research Group in 1989 [2].
Although many professionals suggested feasible construction techniques, financial plans and administrative structures, most of them overestimated future developments and even ignored some revised adjustments for the figures [2]. This mirage had attracted a few companies to invest and resulted in suspending finishing dates with huge deficits during the vacancy[1].

[1] Aita, Kaoruko. 1995. “A “Futuristic Waterfront City” Drowns in Red Ink.” Japan Times, Sep, 10. https://search-proquest-com.eproxy.lib.hku.hk/docview/218957237?accountid=14548.

[2] Eiichi GOTOH, Teiji KIKUCHI and Tsutomu KUMAMOTO. “Construction Engineering and Management: Future Perspectives.” 土木学会論文集 427, no. 14 (1991): 7-12.

[3] Keiichi, Masuyama. 1988. “Information society and life style.” Journal of Information Processing and Management 31, no.2 (1988): 165-177.

[4] 松行, 康夫, and Yasuo MATSUYUKI. “Administration and Planning of the Tokyo Teleport as an Information and Communication Network Infrastructure.” オフィス・オートメーション 10, no. 3 (1989): 51-58.

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