Government-Sponsored Urban Sprawl In Japan

In an effort to reduce costs, Japan introduces an odd set of incentives to reduce the number of the nation's 3,200 municipalities to 1,000.
August 7, 2003, 11am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"Proponents say fewer but larger cities will save money and improve efficiency. Skeptics like Shinya fear a different outcome: government that is less responsive and less convenient... Small towns can choose to go it alone, but a system of carrots and sticks crafted by the central government makes it a costly proposition. "'This utter despotism will only kill off towns and villages,' groused one group of local officials... Exactly how the decision to merge is made can be a bit murky."

Thanks to Laura Kranz

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Published on Thursday, August 7, 2003 in The Los Angeles Times
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