For all its triumphs, the legacy of Olympic-led urban modernization in Tokyo is mixed. Following the 2021 Olympic Games, which were threatened by the ongoing global pandemic, the consequences of Olympic planning are a topic of intense public interest.
Unbound by topography, land-use restrictions, and complex ownership patterns, reclaimed land has been the site of urban experimentations in Tokyo for centuries. From factories to Ferris wheels, each experiment is an artifact of the economic, political, and social aspirations of its time.
Boulevards play an important role in the transportation networks of Japanese cities, but how do they function as public spaces? Shaped by diverse forms of organization, occupation, and use, boulevards are both paths and destinations—places where urban life unfolds.
Tokyo is known for its myriad “urban villages”—small, close-knit communities that are juxtaposed against high-rise districts. A recent wave of large-scale redevelopments in central Tokyo, spearheaded by private firms, threatens these neighborhoods, raising urgent questions about shifting patterns of architecture, urbanism, and everyday life.