Japan and the Lost Decade

“The Maya abandoned what had been densely populated urban centers” ~ Climate and the Collapse of Maya Civilization, Peterson & Haug “The city of Rome underwent depopulation during the 5th century […] By the 6th century the population of Rome had fallen to a mere 80,000.” “Civilization, according to the Romans, was based on the city. Only barbarians lived in non-urban societies.” ~ “The Fall and Decline … Continue reading Japan and the Lost Decade

Osaka – Human Centered City

We’ve all heard about how Paris wants to be car-free. We’ve all read about how Oslo wants to be car-free. But somehow, very quietly, Osaka is beating them there.  This Japanese government report shows that between 2000 and 2010, the mode-share of private motor vehicles in Osaka (blue and purple) retreated from an already low 18.3% to a mere 14.6% Mode-share statistics for Osaka in 2010: Rail: 35.8% Walking: 24.0% Bicycle: 23.5% … Continue reading Osaka – Human Centered City

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The Truth About Osaka

Some people just don’t have any common-sense when it comes to Osaka. Here’s Wikipedia: two screenshots from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modal_share Zero percent cycling in a big Japanese city?  This should have been flagged a long time ago!  (Stats for 2010 are available here) For the Osaka data, Wikipedia cites Singapore’s Land Transport Authority: Which in turn cites a Japanese government survey: However, the Land Transport Authority appears to have interpreted … Continue reading The Truth About Osaka

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Directions to IHJ (International House of Japan)

I have two recommendations for walking to the International House of Japan (IHJ): A 10 minute scenic tour. A 10 minute mole tour (if you want to minimize your time outdoors). The scenic option offers a complete crash course in walkable urbanism, hidden in the most mundane details. As I have written elsewhere, most of our knowledge about how to build a walkable city has yet … Continue reading Directions to IHJ (International House of Japan)

Shibuya Deck Level 渋谷デッキ

Major Sky-Level Decks #デッキ論

This list is not comprehensive, but here are some of the largest Deck Level developments in Japan: Senri-Chuo shopping center in Osaka (on airport monorail line): huge deck level.  Surrounding park areas are connected by pedestrian bridges, creating near total grade separation of vehicles and pedestrians.  Very much like Tama Center. See also: http://senri50.com/c4489.html Tama Center: Wide deck level stretching 1100′ NW from Keio Tama Center … Continue reading Major Sky-Level Decks #デッキ論

Versus! – Jiyugaoka vs Little Italy

Jiyugaoka (自由が丘) is located 4 miles outside the Yamanote line, Tokyo’s equivalent of New York’s Manhattan. Little Italy is in the middle of south Manhattan, and has the highest WalkScore of any neighborhood in New York City. Jiyugaoka: 37 bars within 0.2 kilometers . Little Italy: 12 bars within 0.2 miles . Jiyugaoka: 74 coffee within 0.2 kilometers . Little Italy: 69 coffee within 0.2 miles . … Continue reading Versus! – Jiyugaoka vs Little Italy

Jiyugaoka – Shop Distribution

How many shops are within walking distance?  While Jiyugaoka.net lists 1,937 shops*, not all of them are close to Jiyugaoka Station.  It appears that roughly 3/4 of these are within 6 minutes of the station, but the distribution varies; super markets are more evenly spread, while restaurants are highly clustered. *This includes public facilities, service businesses, parks, and over a thousand listings under “gourmet“.  This allows a … Continue reading Jiyugaoka – Shop Distribution

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Walkable City – Jiyugaoka (自由が丘)

  Jiyugaoka is one of five major town centers in Tokyo’s Meguro ward (目黒区), which is one of the city’s most densely populated wards, with 49,000 people per square mile. The two train stations which intersect here boast combined daily boardings of approximately 150,000 passengers (CBRE data). This commercial nucleus features a tremendous number of storefronts, all within a 6 minute walk of Jiyugaoka Station:     … Continue reading Walkable City – Jiyugaoka (自由が丘)

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Sasebo – 佐世保

Sasebo is a small city with a vibrant commercial core.  Most stores and businesses are within a couple blocks of the 20 minute walk shown below: The main commercial area is unified by a continuously roofed arcade (全蓋アーケード) fully three fifths of a mile in length.  It is managed by two Shotengai Associations. Sankacho (aka Sun Plaza) in the NW half: Yonkacho in the SE half: The following diagram … Continue reading Sasebo – 佐世保