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

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

Maps are for People, Addresses are for Cars

If you want people to visit you, don’t give them your address; give them a map. Addresses are for people going directly from point A to point B, without doing anything useful on the way: no side-errands, no socializing, no stopping to enjoy food or drink. Maps are for people for whom physical space has meaning; if something interesting lies between their point of origin and their … Continue reading Maps are for People, Addresses are for Cars

Sapporo Photo Tour: Raccoon Lane Arcade – 狸小路 商店街

Raccoon Lane (Tanuki Kouji) is a 7 block long covered shopping arcade (全蓋アーケード) in Sapporo.  Except for the westernmost block (7-chome), the current structure dates to 1982 (Note 1), and it has been fully covered since 1960 (Note 2). The arcade runs parallel to Odori Park (five blocks south of the park): . The arcade also ties into an underground pedestrian space which runs one mile … Continue reading Sapporo Photo Tour: Raccoon Lane Arcade – 狸小路 商店街

In Depth: Nicollet Mall LRT Station Neighborhood

 – South 6th St, west of Nicollet Mall (between Hennepin & Nicollet) – The north side has four eating/drinking establishments, all with outdoor dining (The Oceanaire, Ike’s, Murray’s, and Lyon’s Pub): . The south side of the street is a dismal scene, featuring a totally unsheltered bus stop, and not a single commercial enterprise (the nearby doors to Office Depot are locked): . – South … Continue reading In Depth: Nicollet Mall LRT Station Neighborhood

Cityscape: Taipei – West of Taipower Station

First of all, why “west of Taipower station” instead of “around Taipower station”?  The answer reveals a key difference between stations in Taiwan (and perhaps most of the world) and stations in Japan. In a word, Taipower station is a means, not an end.  It’s a way to get from A to B, not a destination in and of itself.  The station is not a … Continue reading Cityscape: Taipei – West of Taipower Station

Taipei Map Analysis: Dongmen Station

Here I compare four overlapping areas around Dongmen (東門) Station.  They are not distinct neighborhoods, just convenient rectangular areas.  The question is: which area is most interesting to walk in, north-west from the station, north-east, south-east, or south-west. Here are the four areas shown at the 200 ft scale on Google Maps: . . . . Short Block Index Direction from Dongmen Station :: Short … Continue reading Taipei Map Analysis: Dongmen Station

Cityscape: Wenzhou Street, Da’an, Taipei

Taipei’s Da’an district is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with over 70,000 people per square mile.  Da’an district also includes Da’an Forest Park, National Taiwan University, and unpopulated areas to the south and south-east of NTU.  The areas shown here are probably over 100,000 people per square mile. Standing at the intersection where lanes 56 and 58 meet at Wenzhou street, and … Continue reading Cityscape: Wenzhou Street, Da’an, Taipei