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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/2757

Title: Land readjustment and metropolitan growth: an examination of suburban land development and urban sprawl in the Tokyo metropolitan area
Authors: Sorensen, André
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Progress in Planning 53 (2000) 217-330
Abstract: Land Readjustment (LR) is a land development technique used in many countries around the world including Germany, Sweden, Japan, Taiwan and Korea. In essence it is a method whereby an irregular pattern of agricultural land holdings is re-arranged into regular building plots and equipped with basic urban infrastructure such as roads and drains. A percentage of each landowner's holding is contributed to provide land for roads and parks, and for some plots to sell to pay the costs of the project. Its use has been particularly widespread in Japan where it is responsible for some 30% of the existing urban area, and is commonly referred to as `The Mother of City Planning' (Toshi Keikaku no Haha ). LR has for 20 years also been the focus of an international effort to introduce the technique to the developing countries of South East Asia. Although there is now a large literature on Japanese LR as a result of that project, however, virtually all of that literature focusses on practical aspects of how to implement projects, and on case studies of individual projects. Little attention has been paid to the role of LR in Japanese urban growth and urban planning at a city or regional scale, although such an examination is necessary to understanding LR in Japan, and Japanese urbanisation and urban planning more generally. The present research examines the role of LR in shaping patterns of urban development in the rapidly growing northern suburbs of Tokyo in Saitama prefecture. In particular, the claim commonly made by Japanese writers that LR prevents urban sprawl is examined. Sprawl and its prevention have long been a preoccupation of both Western and Japanese urban planners for aesthetic and efficiency reasons. However, it has recently gained importance as the critical interconnections between urban form and urban travel patterns, and greenhouse gas emissions and global warming have become more widely recognised. The case studies examine the role of LR in land development and urban growth at the regional scale (Saitama prefecture) and at the local scale (Urawa, Omiya and Ageo cities). GIS mapping and analysis of the case study areas, and interviews with planners and participants are used to examine the role and impacts of LR projects in suburban land development in Japan. The research suggests that while there are various impacts of LR projects because they are so widely used, in a range of different contexts, it is fair to say that LR projects contribute to increased sprawl at the regional scale, while largely failing to prevent it at the local scale.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/2757
Appears in Collections:Social Sciences

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