Japan

July 8, 2009, 6am PDT
The Nakagin Capsule Tower, designed in Tokyo in 1972 as part of the Japanese Metabolism movement in architecture, is facing destruction. Residents of the building have voted to demolish it and replace it with a modern structure.
The New York Times
May 6, 2009, 9am PDT
Levels of lithium in the municipal water of Oita prefecture in Japan have been linked to lower rates of suicide, according to a new study.
BBC
May 5, 2009, 1pm PDT
Japan's four major highway operators will drastically lower their tolls, thanks to a generous government economic stimulus package aimed to encourage motoring during the major holidays. The operators are preparing for the enormous traffic jams.
Bloomberg.com
April 25, 2009, 11am PDT
How the "road tribes" — the impenetrable scrum of bureaucrats, politicians and industry that benefit from an ever-expanding program of road construction — are literally paving the road to national ruin in Japan.
Japan Times
Blog post
April 20, 2009, 5am PDT
 At a company presentation about environmental impact the other week a colleague included a historic photograph of Scollay Square in Boston.  You are pardoned if, even after visiting or living in that city, this doesn’t sound familiar because all prominent characteristics of the area were summarily obliterated in the mid-twentieth century to make way for a potpourri of brutalist-style administrative buildings and renamed Government Center.  Urban redevelopment arguments aside, the photograph reveals a particularly interesting detail about the function and use of streets virtually erased from our minds over the last century. 

 

Ian Sacs
March 25, 2009, 3am PDT
High speed train technology is progressing at a rapid pace in Japan, where mag-lev bullet trains are planned to travel at speeds of more than 310 miles per hour by the year 2025.
Los Angeles Times
January 7, 2009, 7am PST
Young Japanese men and women are ditching the car as a status symbol, sparking concern for car companies.
The Oregonian
December 12, 2008, 2pm PST
At the Japanese website Nioibu.com, visitors are geomapping odd odors, from gasoline fumes to curry.
Boing Boing
October 10, 2008, 2pm PDT
A stray cat born and raised at a Japanese train station has been named its official stationmaster -- and become a tourist attraction that's successfully boosted the local economy by more than $10 million.
AFP
September 8, 2008, 8am PDT
Tokyo finds solution to commuter bicycle parking shortage by building high-tech robotic garages.
The Washington Post
July 15, 2008, 7am PDT
<p>In Kamikatsu, Japan, waste is not a problem -- mainly because new policies practically forbid it. But citizens have adapted to their new zero-waste lifestyle.</p>
BBC
Blog post
April 4, 2008, 5pm PDT

Another week has passed, and some more exciting and interesting ideas have taken root in the world of urban planning.

Nate Berg
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