Urban Spaces in Japan explores the workings of power, money and the public interest in the planning and design of Japanese space. Through a set of vivid case studies of well-known Japanese cities including Tokyo, Kobe, and Kyoto, this book examines the potential of civil society in contemporary planning debates. Further, it addresses the implications of Japan's biggest social problem – the demographic decline – for Japanese cities, and demonstrates the serious challenges and exciting possibilities that result from the impending end of Japan's urban growth.

Presenting a synthetic approach that reflects both the physical aspects and the social significance of urban spaces, this book scrutinizes the precise patterns of urban expansion and shrinkage. In doing so, it also summarizes current theories of public space, urban space, and the body in space which are relevant to both Japan and the wider international debate.

With detailed case studies and more general reflections from a broad range of disciplines, this collection of essays demonstrates the value of cross-disciplinary cooperation. As such, it is of interest to students and scholars of geography and urban planning as well as history, anthropology and cultural studies.

chapter 1|14 pages


ByChristoph Brumann, Christian Dimmer, Evelyn Schulz

chapter 2|22 pages

Urbanisation, City and City System in Japan between Development and Shrinking

Coping with Shrinking Cities in Times of Demographic Change
ByWinfried Flüchter

chapter 3|16 pages

The Colonial Appropriation of Public Space

Architecture and City Planning in Japanese-Dominated Manchuria
ByAnke Scherer

chapter 4|21 pages

Re-Uniting a Divided City

High-Rises, Conflict and Urban Space in Central Kyoto
ByChristoph Brumann

chapter 5|32 pages

Re-Imagining Public Space

The Vicissitudes of Japan's Privately Owned Public Spaces
ByChristian Dimmer

chapter 6|19 pages

Citizen Participation and Urban Development in Japan and Germany

Issues and Problems
ByCarolin Funck, Tsutomu Kawada, Yoshimichi Yui

chapter 7|23 pages

Indifferent Communities

Neighbourhood Associations, Class and Community Consciousness in Pre-War Tokyo
ByKatja Schmidtpott

chapter 8|19 pages

Who Cares about the Past in Today's Tokyo?1

ByPaul Waley

chapter 9|17 pages

Gendered Modes of Appropriating Public Space

ByIngrid Getreuer-Kargl

chapter 10|19 pages

Walking the City

Spatial and Temporal Configurations of the Urban Spectator in Writings on Tokyo
ByEvelyn Schulz

chapter 11|19 pages

Shrinking Cities and Liveability in Japan

Emerging Relationships and Challenges
ByAndré Sorensen