chapter  9
12 Pages

The era of local rights

Master plans, machizukuri and historical preservation

The major part of this chapter describes three important new planning practices. Master Planning, machizukuri, and historical preservation are described in pages 300-25. These new planning approaches have become increasingly widespread and popular and represent a major shift in Japanese urban planning practice. They are all municipal government-based and involve significant public participation in plan formation. They also all represent a much broader conception of the public good and the legitimate public interest than did the old top-down central government dominant style of planning. While many of these new approaches are still in the formative stages, in the realm of city planning and civil society the 1990s have been anything but a lost decade. Whether these new city planning methods and energies will be overwhelmed by the deep troubles of the economy and the political system remains to be seen, but they form at least one bright spot in an otherwise gloomy picture. The final part of the chapter summarises some of the major urban changes during the last decade of the twentieth century.