In Tokyo, the Pedestrian is King

[Lessons on Japanese Urbanism from French Slow TV]

Tokyo 0 min 27 sec

At 0:27  Note the very well marked scramble crossing (c.f. the arrogance of space).

Lesson 1: zebra stripes can never be too wide.

From 1:00 to 1:59  Note the total absence of vehicular traffic.  The numerous parked cars and bikes make clear that this is not a depopulated area.

Lesson 2: its possible to build an urban street free from noise and pollution, even in the densest of cities.

Tokyo 2 min 04 sec

At 2:04  Note the sidewalk width.  Despite the scarcity of land, Tokyo manages to provide sidewalks so wide that collisions and confrontations are easy to avoid.

Lesson 3: there’s no excuse for narrow sidewalks.

Tokyo 4 min 31 sec

At 4:31  Note the absence of vehicles on a major boulevard.  This is Akihabara, and its closed to cars every Sunday.  See also: Shinjuku (新宿ホコ天), Ginza (銀座中央通りホコ天), Kagurazaka (神楽坂下), and New York’s Nassau Street.

Lesson 4: everybody loves car-free days.

Tokyo credits
Credits: Bouisson, Zuili, Tristano, Olivereau.

One thought on “In Tokyo, the Pedestrian is King

  1. You forgot the most important part: no street parking. Cars are forced off the street into parking lots, out of sight and out of mind, to keep the street for human beings, not vehicles.


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