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Messy UrbanismUnderstanding the "Other" Cities of Asia$
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Manish Chalana

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208333

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208333.001.0001

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Shinjuku 新宿‎: Messy Urbanism at the Metabolic Crossroads

Shinjuku 新宿‎: Messy Urbanism at the Metabolic Crossroads

(p.101) Chapter 6 Shinjuku 新宿‎: Messy Urbanism at the Metabolic Crossroads
Messy Urbanism

Ken Tadashi Oshima

Hong Kong University Press

The multifarious, multi-layered urban structure of Tokyo, building on the historical and geological underpinnings of Edo, challenges western models of orderly urban planning. Rather than following a macrocosmic unified order, the Japanese capital can be seen to be a collage of micro-urban entities. Within this context, architects have increasingly pursued "urbanistic" architectural practices, working from small to large-scale projects. Such projects work within the urban ecological underpinnings of the city to dynamically form its infrastructure. This study analyzes the nodes of Sukiyabashi and Nishi-Shinjuku, as microcosms of the larger metropolis, through their underlying structures of water (moats and water treatment), layers of transportation and circulation networks built above, and the subsequent building designs and typologies. The comparison of Sukiyabashi/Yurakucho and Nishi-Shinjuku districts illustrates the changing planning ideals through the post-war period from central Tokyo to the new center of Shinjuku. This historical analysis ultimately seeks to identify alternative strategies for sustaining the social and ecological livelihood of the city.

Keywords:   Urbanism, Urban planning, Metabolism, Shinjuku, Tokyo

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