Emergent Tokyo: Patterns of Spontaneous Micro-Urbanism (Pre-order)

By Jorge Almazan

  • Unlike much of the existing writing on Tokyo that emphasises its oriental uniqueness and mysterious urban chaos, this richly illustrated book offers both visitors and specialists an unparalleled understanding of the surprising yet comprehensible design principles that explain Tokyo's most permeable, vibrant, and adaptive urban patterns
  • Emergent Tokyo addresses a wide range of the city's critical topics and pervasive urban patterns, many of which are rarely mentioned in English-language discussions of the city
  • Contains up-to-date information that captures the city's latest phenomena and bases its core arguments on brand-new primary research
  • Sheds light on this neglected yet essential urbanism, explaining the role that such features play in Tokyo's thriving urban ecosystem and situating them within an overall theory of emergent urbanism

This book examines the urban fabric of contemporary Tokyo as a valuable demonstration of permeable, inclusive, and adaptive urban patterns that required neither extensive master planning nor corporate urbanism to develop. These urban patterns are emergent: that is, they are the combined result of numerous modifications and appropriations of space by small agents interacting within a broader socio-economic ecosystem. Together, they create a degree of urban intensity and liveliness that is the envy of the world's cities.

This book examines five of these patterns that appear conspicuously throughout Tokyo: yokocho alleyways, multi-tenant zakkyo buildings, undertrack infills, low-rise dense neighbourhoods, and the river-like ankyo streets. Unlike many of the discussions on Tokyo that emphasise cultural uniqueness, this book aims at transcultural validity, with a focus on empirical analysis of the spatial and social conditions that allow these patterns to emerge. The authors of Emergent Tokyo acknowledge the distinct character of Tokyo without essentialising or fetishising it, offering visitors, architects, and urban policy practitioners an unparalleled understanding of Tokyo's urban landscape.

Forthcoming February 8th February 2021

Novato (CA), 2021, 19,8cm x 14cm, 250pp, illustrated, Paperback.

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