For urban governance, city planning, and community development, however, the 1990s are just as widely seen as a time of dramatic transformation in Japan, with a veritable paradigm shift in planning practice and the development of local GHPRFUDF\ :DWDQDEH $ NH\ DVSHFW RI WKLV WUDQVIRUPDWLRQ LV WKH HPHUgence of new patterns of citizen engagement in local environmental governance, of which machizukuriPRYHPHQWVDUHDSURPLQHQWDQGZLGHVSUHDGH[DPSOHVHH &KDSWHUE\:DWDQDEH6KXQLFKLLQWKLVYROXPH:KLOHDZLGHYDULHW\RIORFDO community-development related activities are now referred to as machizukuri, the term is used here to refer to participatory community-based efforts to improve local environments. The decentralization of central government functions to local governments, including responsibility for city planning, is seen as an important SDUWRIWKDWSURFHVV&KLK{EXQNHQVXLVKLQLLQNDL.RED\DVKL

Decentralization and the shift to greater citizen engagement in local environmental governance in Japan parallel similar changes in many other countries around the world. The worldwide trend toward the decentralization of powers from national to provincial and local governments, the international wave of democrati-]DWLRQVLQFHWKHVDQGLQFUHDVHGDVSLUDWLRQVRIFLYLOVRFLHW\RUJDQL]DWLRQVIRU environmental policy roles have all led to increased interest in local governance 6WUHQ6RPHKDYHDUJXHGWKDWWKHVHVKLIWVDUHDOVRFORVHO\DVVRFLDWHGZLWK

globalization, as increased mobility of investment and greater international trade ÁRZVZHDNHQWKHSROLF\DXWRQRP\RILQGLYLGXDOQDWLRQVWDWHVDWWKHVDPHWLPHDV increased competition for mobile investment heightens the competition between FLWLHV&DVWHOOV/RZ et al²:LWKWKHJOREDOVSUHDGRIWKH idea of urban sustainability as a dominant conceptual framework for urban policy, one of the major areas of concern is urban planning and local environmental govHUQDQFH7KLVLVUHÁHFWHGLQWKH/RFDO$JHQGDSURJUDPLQLWLDWHGDWWKH 5LR(DUWK6XPPLWZKLFKHQYLVLRQVORFDOJRYHUQPHQWVFRPPXQLWLHVDQGFLWL]HQV DVWKHNH\DFWRUVLQHIIRUWVWRDFKLHYHJUHDWHUHQYLURQPHQWDOVXVWDLQDELOLW\6LWDU] 8QLWHG1DWLRQV'HSDUWPHQWRI3XEOLF,QIRUPDWLRQ/RZ et al. 2000). City planning and local environmental management are thus a key focus of changing governance structures, lying as they do at the intersection of national economic interests with the hopes and aspirations of local communities for healthy, safe, and congenial living environments. As the famous Spanish theorists Jordi Borja and 0DQXHOO&DVWHOOVSXWLWWKHPDMRUTXHVWLRQIDFLQJXVDWWKHEHJLQQLQJRIWKH WZHQW\ÀUVWFHQWXU\LV+RZGRFLWLHVFLWL]HQVDQGORFDOJRYHUQPHQWVEHFRPHWKH SULPDU\DFWRUVLQVKDSLQJWKHLUGHVWLQ\LQWKHQHZZRUOGHFRQRP\"

It is clear that the division of responsibilities and powers between local and national and between state and citizens is undergoing a period of change, renegotiation, and reconceptualization. Such changes are occurring in countries around the world, not least in Japan. These changes present opportunities for understanding relationships old and new, as old certainties are questioned and new formulations required. The intent of the following discussion is to take advantage of this moment, when many of the old arrangements are being questioned, to examine -DSDQHVHSODQQLQJFXOWXUH²GHÀQHGKHUHDVWKHVHWRILQVWLWXWLRQDODUUDQJHPHQWV and shared understandings about the appropriate roles and meanings of state, market, and society in urban management. Japan’s particular trajectory of urban governance, its highly centralized system of urban planning, and its distinctive relationships between state, market, and society provide a valuable opportunity to explore some of the implications of the nation’s twentieth-century history of centralized urban governance. The main issues to consider are the important long-term FRQVHTXHQFHVRIWKHKLJKGHJUHHRIFHQWUDOL]DWLRQLQ-DSDQHVHXUEDQJRYHUQDQFH the role and contribution of civil society actors in relation to urban governance in WKHFRQWH[WRIWKDWFHQWUDOL]DWLRQWKHZD\VLQZKLFKJRYHUQDQFHVWUXFWXUHVKDYH ZRUNHGWRVKDSHFLYLOVRFLHW\DQGÀQDOO\WKHUHODWLRQVKLSVEHWZHHQXUEDQSODQning governance, civil society, and urban change in Japan. 7KHÀUVWVHFWLRQRXWOLQHVWKHPDLQFKDUDFWHULVWLFVRI-DSDQ·VFHQWUDOL]HGJRY-

ernance system through an analysis of the local government and urban planning systems. Japan succeeded in creating one of the most highly centralized urban SODQQLQJJRYHUQDQFHV\VWHPVDPRQJWKHGHYHORSHGFRXQWULHVVHHDOVR&KDSWHUV 1 and 2 by Hein and Pelletier, and Ishida respectively). As an extreme form of top-down, centralized control over urban management, the Japanese case provides useful insights into the advantages and disadvantages of the centralization of spatial management powers. The top-down view is only one side of the story, however, and without also examining the bottom-up perspective of the efforts

of communities to work together to enhance local environments, the picture of Japanese urban management would be incomplete. The second section examines the roles of communities in bottom-up management of urban space. In many respects local communities have shown continuing strength in Japan, while in other ways their autonomy and ability to effectively protect their local environment have been limited consistently by the policies of the central government. The resulting contradictory character of Japanese urban governance, with a weak role for civil society, but strong neighborhoods and social capital resources, is a central feature of Japanese urban life that this discussion tries to elucidate. The third section explores some of the consequences of Japan’s distinctive urban planning culture in order to gain perspective on recent moves to decentralize planning authority.