The beginnings of modern city planning
The institutional framework of central and local government had a profound and lasting impact on how these priorities were tackled. As noted, the dominant trend during the Meiji period was towards increased centralisation of the government. Most new institutions and town planning measures were therefore designed with a high degree of central control. In contrast with the development of city planning in most Western countries, where municipal governments frequently led the way in the design of town extension schemes, improved infrastructure and the building of workers’ housing, in Japan centralisation of power and finance left very little room for local initiative. The small role of local governments and other local actors in the development of early planning initiatives meant any such efforts tended to reflect central government priorities.