From Towers to Street Cities
Towers create a tasteless town where community is eliminated and only asset value is pursued. No matter how many shopping malls are built within the building, there will be no human skin there, and at night, there will be no human flow.
It has been a while since I walked the back streets of Harajuku. While great galleries are being built, many apparel stores have been forced to close, and I have never seen so many empty spaces before.
The charm of Harajuku, with its mix of old and new stores, lies in what Jayne Jacobs (a civic activist who opposed the skyscrapers of Manhattan in the 1960s) called its “complex order. People feel free to roam around aimlessly, and new encounters are made. The evolution of civilization is the creation of many coincidences. We must not forget the history of many condominiums built in the 20th century that deteriorated, aged, and turned into slums.
A town without detours and loopholes will lose the chance to meet people.” There is a road behind every man’s path and a mountain of flowers.
The urban planning that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government should promote is not rezoning, but creating a set of inexpensive low-rise housing and shopping areas. There is no need for an amusement park or hotel on the former Tsukiji site. We should build a town where people can come and go. A community cannot be created in a park where people go by train.
Harajuku, Akihabara, Jimbocho, Koenji, Ogikubo, Jiyugaoka, Azabu-juban, these districts will serve as role models.
The “small house-1923” that architect Le Corbusier conceived 100 years ago may be the future that is sought after.
From Jayne Jacobs NY Urban Planning Revolution
Blame the city’s decline on traffic congestion and
It’s easy to blame immigrants and the whims of the middle class.
Urban decay is much more serious and complex.
The problem is people don’t know what they want.
It’s about not knowing how the city works.
Beneath the seemingly disorderly old city
If that old city is functioning
Maintaining the security of the streets and the freedom of the city.
There is a great order to it.
It is a complex order.
Everything consists of movement and change.
It’s a way of life, not an art form, but it’s a way of life.
Call it an urban art form.
Let’s think of it as a dance.
Not a monotonous, precision dance.
All of them put their feet up in unison.
Not bowing around in a line.
It’s a complicated ballet.
While individual dancers and ensembles play separate parts
Miraculously, they strengthen each other.
It’s like a well-ordered whole.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jayne Jacobs.