Research Projects

Future City Laboratory Tokyo

Project Leader

Kitayama Koh 

Born in 1950. Architect, specializes in urban theory. Graduated Yokohama National University Graduate School. For "Senzoku Apartments" and "Yutenji Apartments" awarded the Prize of AIJ 2010, Architectural Design Division and Annual Architectural Design Commendation of AIJ etc. Author of Toshi no Agent wa Dare nanoka, 2015, TOTO Publishing, Modernism no Rinkai, 2017, NTT Publishing, co-autor of TOKYO METABOLIZING, 2010, TOTO Publishing, etc 


Cooperation with base for research in next-generational cities, confirmation of urban issues, establishment of Tokyo's Near Future Research

Plate (Areal Void) 

Areal voids are the wide open areas that have survived the several hundred years since Edo, where Edo samurai residences have been transformed into public amenities (parks, schools, government buildings etc.), and where temple and shrine grounds have remained since the Edo period 

Plate (Linear Void) 

Linear voids are closely related to geographical features, and from them we can detect shopping streets and roads frequented by people, waterways of the natural landscape and their covered conduits, and cliff-edge green tracts. As these linear voids exist in close proximity to everyday life, they have deep ties with community 

Plate (Granular Void) 

Granular voids describe Tokyo's urban structure where empty housing and spaces easily come about. These granular urban elements change rapidly. 

The "modern city" was born in North America at the end of the 19th century. The city type spread around the world in no time, along with the capitalist-system society based on mass production and mass consumption. Built centering on economic activity, the city structure is not necessarily suited to traditional human living and community. One example, the city of Tokyo, although fitting the "modern city" type, has cultural and geographical foundations remaining from Edo which makes it a city with urban formation that is unique throughout the world. As a result of research of the principles of the city: human collective form and community etc., research relating to urban sociology and regional management based on politics and economics, multi-faceted urban research such as urban environmental studies, urban infrastructure studies, and scientific and technological research for urban disaster prevention etc., this research project will use the macroscopic viewpoint of Edo-Tokyo to draw up an image of a new city that transcends the "modern city" developed in the West. 

By the mid-21st century, over half of the world's population will be living in cities, but research of the city of Tokyo which has a sociological background other than Enlightenment from the West - its ties with Edo - will offer a choice in ways of living for world cities of the next generation. Within modern cities centering on economic activity, space is fragmented in the search for functional efficiency, sense of community is weak, and people have been isolated. Before the modern age, commons (common land) that had always existed in abundance were a means to living alongside nature, and an important space for supporting people's lives. From this posed problem, we conduct research in regional typology that supports the human biosphere (part of the city generating commons) and decide its social implementation. This research project will build a self-reliant residential city by inheriting social resources from Edo. 

City planning to date has assumed the side of city administration. Here, by employing new information technology, we will attempt to draw up an image of how the city of Tokyo should appear in the near future from the side of city utilization. Using highly accurate data analysis made possible by information technology means it is a research project building a democratic city. Multiple and simultaneous joint research between industry and universities will occur on a completely different scale (fine grain) and in a different dimension to the big business-centric joint research to date. Rather than large-scale redevelopment, we will discover methods for new urban regeneration that encourage more human-scale "urban self-reliance". 


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