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Urban Enclaves: Models of Aggregation and Redevelopment in Tokyo

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.
Japan Story Team
Development Pattern Matrix When comparing the work of major Tokyo developers, one finds that some projects exist as intermittent nodes within the city fabric, while others are designed to aggregate together into enclaves.
Nishi-Shinjuku Subcenter The development of the Nishi-Shinjuku office district was initiated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government starting in 1960 on the site of the former Yodobashi water treatment plant. The pattern of isolated towers and plazas it established has been advanced by nearby private developments in the intervening years, enveloping much of the surrounding fabric.
Mori Strategic Area Ark Hills was the first development by Mori Building to articulate founder Mori Taikichiro’s vision of integrating mixed-use towers with a recreational landscape. Many of the company's recent projects have been sited nearby in an effort to comprehensively transform this central sector of the city, which it calls its “strategic area.”
Mixed-Use Development Comparison Street, block, and building patterns have changed in each of these projects by Tokyo developers.