Lessons From Tokyo's Restless Megalopolis

'Bring on Godzilla!' is not the only answer to Tokyo's urban confusion.
December 24, 2001, 1pm PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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It is more than 70 years since the French architect Le Corbusier confounded New Yorkers by declaring that their skyscrapers were not high enough. His vision was to curb the ugly sprawl of land-gobbling suburbs by creating cities that grew ever skyward. Now, as urban centers get bigger, his "four brutal axioms" -- town centers should be less congested, more densely built up; means of transport should be increased, as should open spaces -- are as controversial as ever. However, they could be the answer to Tokyo's problems... Despite its chaotic appearance today, Japan's capital was once an orderly place. As Edo, the shogunate's headquarters from 1603, it was one of the world's largest, most efficient cities. As for the restless megalopolis that is modern-day Tokyo, though, the only certainty appears to be more concrete and worse congestion. "Bring on Godzilla!" seems the only way out.

Thanks to Design Architecture

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Published on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 in The Japan Times
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